Top 10 Reasons to Shop Local in Metro Vancouver
Over the past 7 months, we’ve learned more about the importance of “shopping local” than ever before.
The unprecedented global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 has shown us how crucial supporting local businesses and farms is to the social, environmental, and economic well-being of our communities across Metro Vancouver.
If we want to enjoy the novelty of these local establishments in the future, we need to support them today as we work together to see this thing through!
Contrary to what some believe, shopping local does not mean isolating yourself from the outside world… it means supporting the community in your city, town, or even your direct neighbourhood!
It ensures your neighbours don’t go jobless and employs local workers so they can continue to support your direct community, the place where you live and spend most of your time. Ultimately, creating a self-sufficient community that enjoys locally produced products and relying less on imports, which, as we’ve seen, can be tricky when the world needs to shut down for a little while.
So, without further ado, here are our top ten reasons to shop local in Metro Vancouver:
- Stimulating the local economy
- Providing greater support to nonprofits
- Creating unique businesses with character
- Reducing the environmental impact
- Providing more new jobs to local residents
- Better customer service
- Investing in your own community
- Public benefits are greater than public costs
- Increased choice for local consumers
- Voting with your wallet
In fact, local businesses have a 4.6x greater impact on the economy than corporations (recirculating $63 for ever $100 spent locally vs. only $14 by multinationals):
1. Stimulating the local economy
You probably already know this one, but buying locally supports the local economy. The money is kept in the community and recirculated by locally owned businesses buying from other local businesses, services, farms, etc.
This helps other businesses (and the local tax base) to grow and expand their reach.
Statistics show that “BC local businesses create more than double the economic impact of their chain competitors.”
2. Providing greater support to nonprofits
Along with the benefit to local businesses comes the benefit to nonprofits.
By supporting your local Vancouver organizations, businesses, services, and farms, you are also supporting nonprofits (even if you don’t donate directly to them).
This is because local businesses recirculate the investment they receive back into the local community, often partnering with local nonprofits and charities than non-local businesses would.
These causes are near and dear to the hearts of the business owners, and they want to reinvest in their community because they know how important it is.
3. Creating unique businesses with character
If you ask us, visiting an establishment like a multinational chain lacks the intimacy and goodness feelings of supporting a small local business.
You don’t go to the bank for fun, do you? (if you do, maybe we need to talk about how you use your spare time…) But in all seriousness, why would you want to visit a grocery store, restaurant, or coffee shop that feels like a visit to the bank?
Investing your dollars into local shops, restaurants, services, and farms will provide a unique experience because all of these operations are run by individuals or small teams, each with their unique flare!
They take it upon themselves to design an experience that positively impacts the community and creates an environment they would want to visit themselves. It’s part of why people visit small towns or different places, to get a taste of the local flavour!
4. Reducing the environmental impact
By investing and shopping locally in Vancouver, you reduce the potential environmental impact of supporting a big chain because this contributes to less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
If you can walk to your local bakery or coffee shop and enjoy better quality, fresher, healthier products than you would at a chain or corporate store, why bother driving to the mall?
It’s this small-town European vibe that helps reduce the environmental impact of large corporations and makes for a healthier and more active community, to boot!
Better yet, why not shop local Vancouver business from your phone and have everything delivered where you want it, when you want it, and how you want it, all packaged carefully in one box??
5. Providing more new jobs to local residents
Since when are more jobs a bad thing? Since never.
By investing in your local community and shopping local, small businesses can provide more jobs to their community due to the higher demand. It’s all a cycle, and in fact, small local businesses provide the highest number of jobs nationally.
This also positively impacts the environment because it will mean less need for local residents to commute (aka less pollution).
6. Better customer service
This seems like a no-brainer, but if you own a small business and rely on your community for income, are you going to be rude to your customers or hire rude employees? Probably not.
Not that you should be scared of your customers, but by shopping locally, a small local business will appreciate your decision to spend your hard-earned money with them rather than a massive corporation and, as a result, the service you receive will be miles better than whenever you call the phone or cable company.
Local businesses will also try their hardest to get you what you need as opposed to a multinational, where you can almost certainly be told, “No, that’s against our policy.” Yuck!
7. Investing in your own community
It’s simple, really, local businesses are local owners. They want to make the place they live the best possible since they’ve chosen to spend all their time there!
As a Vancouver resident, supporting local businesses is only going to make Vancouver the best it can be!
These owners are invested in the community’s future, you should be too.
8. Public benefits are greater than public costs.
Compared to multinationals with huge locations, real estate, and tech requirements, local businesses require very little modification to infrastructure and use public services more efficiently.
Have you ever seen what used to be a local Vancouver business all boarded up by corporate real estate signage and wondered, “What are they putting there”?
Take ownership of that thought and support your neighbourhood by choosing to shop locally.
9. Increased choice for local consumers
This is one reason that seems to get lost on some people. It might be difficult to comprehend, but you actually get more choices when you shop local, not less.
A thousand small businesses (instead of one giant superstore) is definitely the best way to ensure the market remains competitive, innovative, and prices stay low over the long term.
One of the reasons people think small businesses charge more for their products is because sometimes they have to when the local community does not invest in them. The more you spend locally, the more the prices will go down due to competition.
The difference is that it’s a local competition, which is great for everyone!
10. Voting with your wallet
You’ve definitely heard this before but, you vote with your wallet. Where you spend your money directly influences the success of the local Vancouver businesses.
By spending at local community shops and farms, those community members will reinvest the dollars they earn back into the local community. It’s cyclical, so you need to join the cycle at some point!
If you’re interested in shopping locally, you can download the TapIn shopping app now or check out our other articles for news and inspiration.