Big Feast is just one of hundreds of local businesses that relies on customers to shop and eat local. (Colleen Flanagan/ The News)

10 reasons why Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows should shop local

Chamber touts benefits of spending with local stores, shops, and eateries

Monique Tamminga/ Special to The News

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and at the heart of the community.

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce has put together the following 10 reasons why shopping local benefits everyone:

1. Job creation: Shops and restaurants create local employment. Think about how many high school and college students have been employed at local shops, cafes, and restaurants?

2. Independents invest in the community: Local businesses are more generous in their support of local charities, schools, and community events, creating a positive impact and inspiring others.

3. It’s about you: Evidence from numerous surveys nationwide show people receive better customer care and service locally. Local businesses take pride in their reputation and depend on “word of mouth” advertising – so it is in their best interest to provide a high standard of customer service.

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4. Wide range of products and services: Taking the time to look locally, people are often surprised by the range of products and gifts available. Often people find their new favourite product or service they may not have been aware beforehand.

5. Distinctiveness: Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock unique products. These businesses respond quickly to the needs of local customers.

6. Protects the environment: Local shops often stock a high percentage of locally sourced goods, which do not require long car journeys, helping reduce our global footprint.

7. Accessibility: Getting to local shops is generally easier, which is especially important for the elderly and young, and those without transportation.

8. Saves services: Private and public sector services tend to cluster around shops. If shops disappear so do banks, restaurants, hairdressers, etc.

9. Saves money: Out-of-town shops have done a good job convincing people that local business equals expensive. When you add in travel, transfer fees, and your time, the overall cost can be much higher.

10. Community retention: Without local support, shops and services will not remain in the community.

According to the BC Buy Local website, every $100 spent with a BC local business means $63 re-circulated back into the economy.

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Big multi-national companies distribute around $14 of every $100 back to the community in comparison.

Spending with a local business has ripple effects that contribute to the growth and health of a community.

According to www.bcbuylocal.com, a 10-per-cent shift in shopping from chains towards local businesses creates 14,150 jobs and contributes $4.3 billion for B.C.’s economy.

Local businesses enhance the community, connect and support us socially, and enhance wealth and employment.

How can we not shop local?

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