Home Month and Year September 2020 Buy Local! A Calgary Win-Win

Buy Local! A Calgary Win-Win

Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.

Now more than ever, it’s an undisputed truth! For Calgary business¾and for the Calgary community¾”buy local” is the ultimate what-goes-around-comes-around.

Despite the fiercely competitive nature of retail and consumer services, Buy Local is not so much anti-online shopping or anti-big chain/big box store as it is positive and pro-Calgary, because it is documented and undisputedly proven that “buying local” impacts Calgary in many ways.

Of course “buying local” is good for the Calgary economy but, as surveys and analysts explain, “buying local” has an invaluable domino effect on Calgary jobs, the Calgary community, Calgary arts and culture and recreation, Calgary causes, non-profits and charities and even on intangibles like Calgary’s uniqueness and character.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB,) Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses has been voicing concern about the COVID impact on local businesses for months. “It’s critical to our neighbourhoods and, more generally, to Canada’s economic recovery that we move the needle on local, small business recovery and help local businesses who have been starved of sales survive,” says Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.

According to the CFIB, 63 percent of Canadian small businesses are fully open and 39 percent are fully staffed. Sales are up seven per cent, although the challenging reality is that just 26 per cent of small businesses are making normal sales.

“We urge Canadians to put the focus on local small business, at least for the balance of this year. Every Canadian can make a big difference by choosing to support local businesses, whether it’s buying from a small local retailer rather than a national chain or a big box store or asking friends about their favourite local businesses and checking them out.”

Particularly in the Calgary, local small businesses are vital in almost every business sector.

Of course there are the obvious and clichéd warm’n’fuzzies like local businesses being owned and operated by your neighbors but, after much numbers crunching, surveys about the local economy and the local community resoundingly show that nearly 70 percent of money spent locally stays local and that independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community in which they operate than chain competitors. Also, independent restaurants return more than twice as much money per dollar of sales than many national restaurant chains.

Local businesses are the backbone of the Calgary community and according to survey stats, more than 50 percent of local business owners donate to charity, and of those that donate, 90 percent donate to local causes.

It’s undisputable: buying local is a Calgary win-win!