Supporting More Than Just A Business
There’s something delightful about walking into a coffee shop where the barista knows you by name, and it’s incredibly charming when the owner of a store saves a new product behind the counter for you – just because they thought it might be something you’d enjoy. And what about that appreciative feeling you get when walking through the isles of your local grocer and noticing they’ve restocked those candies you just can’t seem to get enough of? Or that moment of joy when visiting that cozy restaurant on the corner, and seeing your favourite drink is now on the menu?
It’s in these little moments, and the relationships we form within our communities, that we’re able to feel and see the difference that supporting local businesses makes. We know those baristas, owners, grocers and chefs. They’re a part of the community, just like we are; and the goods or services we purchase from them go back into the community instead of going elsewhere like they might when shopping at a large retailer.
In recent years, it’s become increasingly trendy to shop local – so much so, that there are nearly 60 million posts on Instagram using the #shoplocal tag! Around the globe, people are sharing their experiences of supporting small businesses and shopping locally, and business has never looked so good!
75% of consumers plan to shop locally more often and, based on the growing number of photos and stories that feature local restaurants and coffee shops, hair salons, bookstores, grocers and more, it’s clear that they mean it. With more and more consumers deciding to shop local, it seems that this is a trend that’s here to stay; but aside from that feel-good feeling you get when supporting a local business, why is this a trend we should all support?
The answer is simple: there are no negatives when it comes to supporting local businesses.
By choosing to shop local instead of at a large retailer, you’re inadvertently choosing to support your community, too. In more ways than you may think.
Did you know, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 recirculates and remains in our local economy? For that same $100, only $43 remains in our community when it’s spent at a national chain. That’s a $25 difference. That may not seem like a lot, but if we were to take a look at the roughly 2,000 members supported by Keep London Local, even if each member only had one $100 transaction, that still amounts to approximately $50,000. That’s $50,000 above what would remain if the same amount was spent at a large retailer. That’s a huge difference, and it’s there because locally owned businesses are far more likely to source local products and services, than a large retailer or national chain. Because, just like you, the owners of small and local businesses are a part of the community and are far more invested in the health and future of their community than a national chain is. Simply put, local businesses support local businesses.
They also support local hiring! As of December 2019, the Canadian economy totalled 1.23 million employer businesses – of these, 1.2 million (or 97.9 percent) were small businesses! These small businesses employed 8.4 million individuals in Canada, or an impressive 68.8 percent of the total private labour force. That’s a staggering 8.4 million people who’ve been given the opportunity to work close to home, in a position where many feel that their happiness is both considered and valued by their employer.
While these small business owners – those who live and breathe supporting local – may also be your friends and your neighbours, they are truly pillars in a community’s economy and well-being. Sure, they’re the people you see standing on the sidelines, cheering at their kid’s soccer game, or going for a quick after-dinner walk around the West 5 community; but they’re also invested in their community because this isn’t just where they work – it’s where they, their family, and friends, live. That’s why many local and small business owners are happy to support local events, sports teams, and charities – and do so 250% more than big corporations!
And what may be the most important role that small businesses play, is their ability to shape the very identity of a community. Without local businesses, the community landscape would be a bland and severely lacking character. Don’t believe us? Just imagine, for a moment, how the main street in your community would look without local shops and restaurants. Empty and uninviting, right? It’s almost like the culture and identity of a community are closely tied to those small shops and hole-in-the-wall eateries.
Walking into a local or small business feels like walking into a friend’s house. It’s warm and inviting, the owners and staff are polite, friendly and welcoming; and it’s this instant connection to them and to our community that makes us want to keep coming back. People crave connections. It’s why we choose to live in the communities that charm and delight us. It’s why more and more consumers are choosing to shop local and support small businesses. And it’s why communities like West 5 are always happy and eager to welcome and support new local businesses at The Sifton Centre, 1305 Riverbend and Hēlio.
Join our growing community and shop fantastic local businesses, like Gnosh, Hey, Cupcake! West Blooms Flowers, Sugarbush Spa Inc., and Oxygen Yoga!
Local businesses are the economic backbone of every community, but it’s the people who own, work and shop there that truly make a community bright and inviting. Remember this season, and the many seasons to come, that by shopping and supporting local, you’re really supporting your friends and neighbours.