Are you ready for some holiday shopping? (Sung to the tune of the Monday Night Football theme song. Thanks, Hank Williams, Jr. …)
This week is the official unofficial kick off to the holiday retail frenzy.
According to the Retail Council of Canada, in 2019 Canadians are estimating to spend about $790 on their holiday purchases, but in reality, will most likely spend over $820. The same survey also showed that 85% of Canadians are interested in buying from a retailer within Canada this year.
So how can our local community benefit? The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce recognizes local as being any business within our geographical boundaries of the City and County of Peterborough. This includes locally-owned businesses as well as franchises that are in our local communities. All businesses contribute to the tax base through their property taxes and contribute to the economy through employment
opportunities for local residents. In fact, retail is the second highest industry for employment of local residents behind the health care industry according to Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development.
Consumer information on how and where to spend your dollars is key. Research for a group out of British Columbia by a company called “Civic Economics” found that there is a sliding scale to dollars spent in community and that for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business $68 stayed in the community. $100 spent at a franchise would see about $43 stay in the community. In both business models, donations to community causes, and payment of taxes and wages were the bulk of the dollars returned to the community.
Breaking it down further, locally-owned businesses tend to source local business support services such as marketing and accounting along with choosing more local suppliers.
That said, the choices in today’s age simply don’t stop at in-store. Online sales according to the Retail Council of Canada will make up about 28% of holiday shopping. But online doesn’t necessarily mean only large and corporate. It’s important to know that more and more of our local retailers have their products on their own e-commerce websites and/or platforms such as Amazon and Shopify. In essence, that online purchase has the potential to be a local buy.
A scan of literature and articles on shopping local leads you to find a few common themes beyond the positive economic impact:
For these reasons, and to highlight our members, the Peterborough Chamber built its own
#LoveLocalPtbo campaign several years ago under the motto of “Keep our town (Ptbo) in business by keeping your business in town (Ptbo).”
For us the main message is, be informed. Know what you are buying. Know where it’s made or grown. Then choose, but choose local if you can.