With the average Canadian spending over $1,500 during the holiday season, it’s evident that there’s a huge opportunity for small businesses to capture consumers sales. But in a study by BMO last year, a disappointing 49% of consumers planned to shop at big box stores. Shopping locally, however, can bring so many benefits to not only those you’re shopping for, but the city and community you live in. Here are just five reasons you should convince people this holiday season to shop at your local business.
By shopping locally, consumers are supporting their own (local) economy. When you shop at big box chains, that money isn’t staying within your own community. In fact, one study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city, however, when that money was spent at a chain, only $43 remained in the city. Consumers should want to shop at places where they know they’re giving back to the place they live.
When consumers purchase a gift at a local business, they are likely to have a more unique gift then one they would purchase at a chain store. Likely they want to give their loved ones gifts that they won’t find anywhere else. Often times too, these gifts can have unique stories attached to them—from the people that made them, or the place it came from—which makes them even more meaningful.
Small businesses employed 7.7 million people across the country in 2012. By shopping local this holiday season, shoppers can provide the business that these small businesses need to survive and thrive. Their money is going directly into helping employ those within your community.
Shopping local helps build and keep a vibrancy in your community. Imagine what your town or city would be like if your favourite little restaurant, yoga studio, or trendy coffee shop didn’t exist? Small businesses add to the culture and give a personality to the city, making your city more colourful, and making it a place that you enjoy living.
The next generation needs to be inspired by the small businesses and success stories today. With each thriving small business or successful entrepreneur they hear about or see, entrepreneurship is becoming more attractive to them. We want the next generation to look at entrepreneurship as a viable career option, and it’s this generation that will help them see that.
Shopping locally brings forth so many benefits to a community. When consumers opt to make a purchase at a small business, their purchase means so much more than a great gift for their friends or family; it means that they care about building and shaping their city. This year, encourage consumers to be more conscious of where they are putting their money by educating them on some of the benefits of shopping local. Futurpreneur’s Holiday Shopping Guide can help with inspiration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada