From The Chair: Remember to ‘shop local’ this season

Keep money in the community

Andrew Gower

Special to The Record

The holiday season is upon us, and for many people this includes the tradition of gift giving. The options of where to procure gifts are many and a myriad in this day and age of internet shopping, big box stores, along with easy and accessible travel to major centres.  Local shopping is the best option, consider it as  giving two gifts – the one you buy to give to a loved one, and the benefit you create by keeping money in our local economy.

Here are some facts about current trends in shopping that are important to consider (from the locobc.com website):

• Online shopping is a growing trend in Canada. Sales are expected to double in the next four years, from $22 billion in 2014 to $40 billion by 2019.

• B.C. retailers cite “competition from internet retailers” as one of two top challenges they face (tied for top issue at 64 per cent along with “big competitors receive better pricing and terms”).

• Two out of every three dollars spent online by Canadians goes to a U.S. retail website.

• Cross border online shopping reduces the amount of money circulating in the local economy by up to 32 per cent.

These trends do two things: they take wealth from our communities and send it to outside companies whose shareholders have no vested interest in where we live. Thus, in the case of internet shopping, the entire economic impact of your shopping decision is removed from our local economy. In the case of chain stores, only the profit from your shopping is removed from our local economy. A local advantage a chain store has over internet shopping is that much of the revenue from that business does stay in our local economy in the form of payroll, taxes, and sponsorship of events and causes. It is important to consider that many chain stores are some of our best corporate citizens, and despite the shareholders of those businesses not being from our community, they do spend a considerable amount of extra money supporting local events and causes.

Shopping at local businesses with local ownership keeps considerably more of our wealth in our local economy. While some wealth has to leave the community to pay for outside suppliers, the rest stays. The profits stay and are generally re-invested by business owners. Local business employees and owners shop in local stores also, further magnifying the wealth. Local businesses contribute directly to the health, diversity, resilience and strength of our communities. The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, the Comox Business Improvement Association and downtown Cumberland business owners spend considerable time, energy and money to make downtown shopping a vibrant place to be.

This holiday season, give two gifts – one to a loved one, and the other to our community.

Choosing to shop local builds and grows our wealth as a community.

 

 

Andrew Gower is the chair of  the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Life on street inspires Comox man to help others without homes

For Sam Franey, it all starts with making connections between people

L’Arche Comox Valley community reeling over findings of inquiry into founder

The local L’Arche community is reeling in the wake of a report… Continue reading

Comox Valley Waldorf School closing

The Comox Valley Waldorf School (CVWS) is familiar with change. It has… Continue reading

Comox Valley students sparkle with gold at Skills Canada event

Valley secondary students captured gold in 13 of the 20 different trades and technology-based events.

VIU students pitch planning projects to Cumberland

Students looked at topics such as historical values and parking issues

Annual Comox Valley fundraiser closing in on $100,000 goal

The Comox Valley Transition Society and the Dawn to Dawn Action on… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Canadian L’Arche group shocked by report that founder sexually abused women

A report by a French-based charity that helps people who are developmentally… Continue reading

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Most Read