“Buy local” has always been a rallying cry, but it was even louder during the early days of COVID-19. When it became apparent that our propensity to outsource manufacturing and import goods was creating PPE shortages and gaps on grocery store shelves, shoppers flocked back to the small businesses that had the products they needed. Now, the shop local trend continues – and that’s a good thing – but why is it so important? Can an economy truly grow if consumers focus their dollars locally instead of investing in national corporations?
Rethink What “Buy Local” Means
Buying local is not about failing to support large scale economic growth. It means making a choice on everyday items such as soap from Walmart or hand made soap from a local vendor. It’s choosing the local manufacturer over bidding the job out of country. When you invest in your community, the makers, bakers, builders, and growers invest your money into their businesses. As their businesses grow, they invest in more labour, equipment, and growth. The end result is still a global community, but a much stronger local community. Just look at what happened with the Bits and Pieces program (in Alberta). The provincial government asked local business what they could contribute to support the fight against COVID-19, and small businesses responded with PPE, sanitizer, and more – even if they didn’t make or sell these products before.
Many small businesses, given the opportunity, can grown into proudly Canadian owned and operated corporations. Your local small businesses have the potential to do amazing things, but your support is required to keep their doors open and their innovations going.
Buying Local: The Dollars and Cents/Sense
Every dollar spent locally has a multiplier effect. Let’s say the effect is five. You spend a dollar, and that generates $5 that stays in the community in terms of value. Those values include but are not limited to, local employment opportunities, paying for local services such as consultants and accountants, property taxes, and income taxes. The $5 figure is hypothetical. Depending on the situation and location, that figure can be much higher.
Local Businesses Support You
It’s not always about the money either. When you need to raise funds for your minor sports team or charitable event, where do you turn? Sure, large chains and brands pour millions into charities, but they often have set (or their own) charities they support. It’s the local tire shop, the local greenhouse, the local mechanic, and the local restaurants, etc., supporting community initiatives.
Let’s keep the momentum going
During COVID-19 many re-discovered the joy of local shopping. Let’s keep that momentum going. As a leading accounting firm dedicated to the support of small businesses in Canada, we at AF Accounting know first-hand how hard small businesses work to support your community. They are strong, resilient, risk-taking, and giving, and when an emergency, like a pandemic, happens, they rise to the challenge to bring you the products and services you need. Explore your town or city today and seek out the small businesses that could become your go-to shopping spots. You benefit, they benefit, the community benefits, and Canada benefits when you decide to shop local.