Editorial: Supporting Local Is Vital This Holiday Season
I know you have been hearing about this for years and you’re doing your best, but if there ever was a year to do your holiday shopping in your community, this is it.
The mom and pop shops of the people you know in the place you live are depending on your business more than ever after a late start to the economic boom in Muskoka in this most abnormal year.
Those who survived are still recovering from the economic halt in the spring and need all our support to make it through what could be an even slower than normal winter for their respective businesses.
It is vital for you to do as much of your holiday shopping locally – for those who can afford to holiday shop.
Visit your respective downtowns and other business areas, shop online options provided by local entrepreneurs and artists, and choose a family-owned and operated restaurant for dining or gift certificates.
Need some hard data and other reasons to shop locally? Well, keep reading.
Studies show that approximately 67 cents out of every dollar ends up staying in your community when you shop local. This trickles down through new jobs, shopping done by the owners at other stores and more.
Local businesses are the largest sponsorship base for local youth sports, churches, not-for-profit organizations and other events.
It is estimated there are over 60,000 people (the number is probably low) living in Muskoka year-round. If half of those people spend $100 each locally this holiday season, that’s a $3 million boost to our economy.
Obviously, the more funds staying in the community, the more they get spread around to other businesses and organizations to help keep Muskoka the great place it is.
But there are more advantages as well.
Finding a bespoke item, you can’t find at a large box store or giant retailer – especially from entities which sell arts, crafts or even their own clothing lines. Shopping local online art galleries and seasonal markets – or both – are great ways to support small business.
Small businesses appreciate and know the value each of their clientele. They value your patronage much more than large stores because they don’t have thousands of customers lined up to pay.
Shopping local is good for your health. Aside from the social aspect – if you happen to shop in person – you will feel better about yourself knowing you helped keep money in your own community. These intangible health benefits are simply another great reason to shop local throughout the year.
It's not the first time you’ve read or heard the benefits of shopping local, but the message is most prudent in 2020.
By Chris Occhiuzzi, special to HuntersBayRadio.com
When Chris isn’t writing stories for HuntersBayRadio.com, Dockside Publishing or running MuskokaUnlimited.com, you can find him volunteering his time as a coach and board member for the Huntsville Soccer Club.