Shopping local is more than a catchy business tag line or a decal in the window. Supporting local businesses means caring about the community you choose to call home. Everyone has fallen in love with their hometown for one reason or another; whether its because you grew up here or because of the quaint, small town atmosphere, you have made the conscious decision to invest in your community by choosing to live here. So why stop there?

By now everyone has heard that quote:

“When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, and moms and dads put food on the table. Shop Local!”

The intention of this quote is to get you to pay attention to where your money goes. It is easy to see the results of your dollar spent when shopping in a small town. You can see it in your neighbour’s success, the freshly paved sidewalks in town, and the health and happiness of your community. I could list so many reasons why its important to shop local but lets just start with five.

  1. When you purchase from a locally owned business, you stimulate the local economy. The money you spent locally is more likely to be kept within the community and contributes to the local tax base.
  2. Your environmental impact is reduced. Most small businesses set up shop in the village centre, providing a centralized location for your shopping needs. This generally means contributing to less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  3. While we are on the topic of pollution, shopping locally helps you save gas! If you choose to look for goods locally, you will require less trips to the big city and save yourself some time, money, and reduce your carbon footprint.
  4. Supporting a local business means more local jobs. Small businesses are the largest employers on a national scale. Plus, the more jobs you have available within your community, the less people are required to commute which again saves on gas money and pollution.
  5. Spending your dollars locally leaves room for those same businesses to reinvest their earnings back into the community through local events, charities, and sports teams.

The public benefits far outweigh the costs! Yes, I am aware that local goods often cost a bit more, or it might take a bit of extra time to source out all the goods you need from multiple locations instead of the one-stop-shops like Walmart, but the good you will be doing for your community is worth it! Thriving local businesses are a sign of a healthy community.

The buy local movement is slowly picking up steam through initiatives like the 100-mile diet or more community-based shop local campaigns. We here have hosted several shop local initiatives, from the eat local campaign ‘Feast in Almaguin’ to the Christmas campaign ‘Wrap Up Almaguin’.  Check out the Shop in Almaguin Facebook page for updates on how to support your local businesses. By making the decision to shop local, you are doing your part to grow your community!