Last week, our northwest B.C. papers were heftier than usual.
It is perennially a big advertising week for us.
Black Friday, in the context of being the biggest annual shopping day in the United States actually dates back decades, but didn’t start catching on in Canada until the 2000s and initially only in border cities where retailers had to deal with physical cross-border shopping.
Around 2012, when the Canadian dollar was at near parity with the American sawbuck, it became even more critical for border city retailers to stem the tide of cross-border shopping.
In the current era of virtual cross-border shopping and massive online American retailers with rapid delivery capacity, it has taken on an entirely new level of urgency even in remote northwest B.C.
Our local, regional and even national advertisers are not so much trying to cash in on the American phenomenon as to survive its onslaught.
Low prices are, of course, extremely alluring, but we have to look beyond the immediate benefit of keeping more of our money in our bank accounts.
In the long run, the benefits of shopping locally far outweigh the immediate gratification of saving a few bucks.
Every dollar that leaves the community and region and country leads to fewer goods locally, which leads to fewer services, which leads to fewer amenities, which means less livable communities.
Furthermore, every dollar that leaves the country consolidates the power of oligarch billionaires such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Income inequality is reaching unprecedented levels in modern times and it is killing our communities.
With four weeks left until Christmas, shop locally even if it means shopping less or spending a bit more.
We will all be better off for it in the long run.