In our opinion: Why shopping local matters

It’s crunch time for last minute Christmas shoppers and many of you may only find the time to buy gifts in and around the community

It’s crunch time for last minute Christmas shoppers and many of you may only find the time to buy gifts in and around the community. That’s not such a bad thing. Buying local has several advantages.

The first and most obvious benefit is that driving out of town, or flying — if you’re that keen for big city stores —  burdens your wallet and the environment. With the global climate change conference that just happened in Paris we should all take a moment and consider how our actions affect the environment.

In this city, almost anywhere you want to go is only about a 15-minute walk. Unlike the big cities such as Vancouver, in Prince Rupert you can avoid parking woes, traffic and spending money on gas by shopping on foot. Another bonus is that you’ll get your daily dose of exercise and with all those holiday parties this time of year that’s essential.

Prices for products in town may be a tad higher than at a big box store or online but in the long run you may get what you pay for.

The whole ordeal of returns is a lot simpler if you buy local. For example, if you bought the wrong sized shirt for a friend, or if you received three copies of The Outsider’s Guide to Prince Rupert, the convenience of returning or exchanging that gift may prevent a few grey hairs.

Studies have found that buying local influences the economic development through the use and expansion of local resources. It’s also more economically efficient because it keeps the region’s economy thriving during off-peak tourist seasons.

When you shop local your money remains in the community. You’re supporting a shop owner’s salary and even their vision to improve their business and provide products needed in the area. You’re also supporting an employee’s wages. As the business grows so does the need to hire more people locally.

One of the best reasons to shop local is the face-to-face connection with the store owner or employee. It feels good to speak with people who carefully select the products that go in their store.

If you spend your money locally the flow of money stays in the community, which in turn helps Prince Rupert sustain what shops it has and might allow business to grow.

What goes around comes around.