Support Local 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.

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. When big decisions are being made in the city, it’s locals who vote. 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.

Personal Service vs Online. When you are buying a piece of furniture (for example), 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. A lot of 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.

Gift buying. When it comes to those 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.

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