As Torontonians, it’s part of our duty to support our neighbours. The reason this city has so much love is from our local independent businesses that give us character.
Without them, our streets would look like a strip mall. Part of Toronto’s charm is being able to go to your local bakery you get fresh loaf of bread; it’s meeting your neighbourhood friends for a beer at your local watering hole. It’s shopping for fresh fruit and veggies at your local market. Without these independent businesses, what separates us from everyone else? It’s important for us to remember this.
Here are 5 reasons why we should all be making an effort to shop locally:
1. Supports local community & economy
Shopping locally supports your community, entrepreneurs, and the economy. Did you know locally owned businesses employ more people, and retain more employees as well as buying local keeps money circulating within the local economy? This allows more control over our neighbourhoods as well.
2. Large corporations affect our local neighbourhoods
Would you want a big company making a big decision for your neighbourhood?
Gentrification is something to be aware of. Yes, having those big box stores brings convenience, as they offer a one-stop-shop anywhere from a toothbrush to a patio set. But what do those take away?
Large Corporate businesses take money away from your local neighbour. They need your support as they have families, contribute to the economy and to the neighbourhoods we love so much. When you start supporting local, you give the business owners incentive to support all those needs.
3. Better customer service
Whether you are buying a piece of furniture or a new mattress, you get so much more with an independent retailer than you do online, or from a big box store.
Independent stores make a point to remember who you are, and take the extra step to find you what you are looking for. With online, you don’t get to see the item. Brick and mortar independent shop, that create the community give you that option. Many major big box stores don’t give you the time of day. It always seems like you can never find someone to help you, and when you do, they act like you’re the problem.
4. Build a stronger local community
Technology has significantly changed the way we shop, communicate, and even eat. With this convenience, however, comes some big drawbacks. Surveys show that 66% of Toronto residents only know a few neighbours — or none at all. This should be something that concerns us all, as tight-knit communities help us be more social while forming stronger bonds.
5. Unique items & experiences
Your local shops tend to have unique products & services that aren't sold everywhere.
When it comes to these annual holidays, keep in mind independent stores to get something unique, and something thoughtful that person hasn’t seen before. You get to support the little guy, your community and feel good about your purchase all while doing so.