Small businesses are at the heart of communities all across the province. Supporting them means that you keep your hard-earned money in your community. If you rather help a business owner send their kids to college than enrich shareholders of big box chains, then it’s time to show your local small businesses some love.
Here are five reasons why you should shop local as much as possible:
1. Support neighbourhood character
I think people tend to forget how much small businesses are a part of their community and help out in so many different ways. They are the ones sponsoring the local sporting events, supporting the school band, or helping provide activities for kids. – Cera Bollo, Summit Tiny Homes
When you think of your local main street, a few small businesses immediately spring to mind. These businesses and those who frequent them provide invaluable character and life to our neighbourhoods. They also provide jobs within our community. Without them, we’d be unable to find many unique products and services that can’t be found at big box stores.
2. Keep Money in Your Community
I believe it’s critical that people show their support for small businesses. They’re the life of our country. We have to understand there’s power in our dollars. We’re making choices with every dollar we spend and the consciousness of the impact of those choices that we’re making is really important. – Teara Fraser, Iskwew Air
As Teara references above, there is incredible power in our dollars. And, with a small change in our buying habits, we can create far-reaching impacts within our communities. LOCO BC published a study that powerfully highlights this impact. Their evidence highlights how a small, 10 percent shift in BC consumer spending towards independent businesses would create 14,150 jobs while keeping $4.3 billion within the BC economy each year.
3. Keep Small Communities Intact
I live in such a small rural community and we need people living in these communities. We need to be doing everything we can to draw people to these communities. By supporting us, you’re supporting my family staying in this community and helping it to grow. – Alaina Lipsett, Sweet Lavations
British Columbia is organized along an urban-rural divide. Approximately 60 percent of our population lives in the Vancouver/Victoria metropolitan area, while the remaining 40 percent is distributed across the rest of the province. As traditional rural industries decline and we move toward a more integrated global economy, these rural areas have faced challenges retaining their population and supporting well-paying, local jobs. Supporting the businesses that live in these communities is a sure-fire way to conserve these towns and preserve the character of our province.
4. Help the Environment
I think, as a society, we’re often so disconnected from the source of where so many things we rely on come from. The more we can focus on our local economies, support local jobs, and source our products locally, the better we can connect with people and get through this together. – Leigh Joseph, Skwalwen Botanicals
When you shop local, you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping to cut down on pollution. Local businesses often source their products from local manufacturers and growers. This helps to reduce long-distance logistics, fossil fuel usage, and even helps to ensure local farms and agriculture thrive. If you’re buying locally produced food, chances are it’s also going to be fresher and tastier!
5. Build Community
Local businesses are owned by your friends, they’re owned by your future friends, and I have a couple of really good friends I met just from shopping at their small business. When you shop at these stores you bump into your neighbours, family members and there’s just such a sense of community about them. I feel like supporting local small businesses may be the easiest way to put love back into your community. Kaisha Scofield – Keto My Heart
Local businesses are owned by local people. These people are your neighbours, your friends and family. They are invested in the success of our communities, and are motivated to contribute to ensuring that success. Though you may not realize it, the money you spend locally is often reinvested in vital local infrastructure through your tax dollars. As we remind people often at Small Business BC, 98 percent of all business in our province is small business. Here, more than anywhere else in our country, it’s vital we support them. In doing so, we support and build our local communities.
Small Business BC is Here to Help
SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.