OPINION: Where to put your money this holiday season

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Where to put your money this holiday season
Christmas gifts. Picture from pixabay.

It is the first week of December and the Christmas shopping season has kicked into high gear.

On Black Friday, the Seaway News team was out in the community talking to local businesses. It was great to see how many people where filling into local stores like Kids Korner, Baxtrom’s YIG, and Cristill Rock.

Christmas is about giving, and when you are out buying gifts to give to your loved ones, take the time to think about where you are giving your business, because that has important impacts on your community.

According to LOCO, a B.C. based organization that conducts research into shopping local claims that independent businesses recirculate 4.6 times more revenue back into the economy. In dollars, independent businesses recirculate $63 of every $100 back into the local economy compared to just $14 from multinational corporations.

The trend continues in the non-profit and charity sector, where independent businesses give back 24 times more to local charities than multinational corporations according to LOCO.

Heart of the City and the City of Cornwall have recently taken steps in the past few weeks to help support local business in Cornwall’s downtown area.
Most recently, Cornwall City Council accepted the annual request from Heart of the City and the Downtown and Le Village Business Improvement Associations to allow free on-street parking for the month of December after 4 p.m.

This might seem like a small gesture, but that is two extra hours’ worth of incentive to shop locally every day between now and Christmas.
Heart of the City has been going even further to support local businesses in Cornwall however. Often, an excuse for not shopping locally is that large multinational stores like Amazon and Walmart have convenient online stores so you never have to leave your house when shopping.

Well last week, Heart of the City announced an initiative to help Cornwall’s main street businesses get an edge in the online market place.

Heart of the City applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Digital Main Street to set up a Digital Service Squad in Cornwall. The Squad will be supporting small businesses at no cost to them, and will be helping them setup Google Business accounts and perform a digital-readiness assessment.

“A healthy bottom line includes a solid dose of technological know-how, and we aim to arm our small business owners with the tools necessary to create, augment and succeed with their digital footprint,” said Todd Lihou, Centretown Coordinator with Heart of the City in a press release sent to the media.

If you need anymore reasons to support local businesses, I have two more for you.

First, according to Fundera.com, nearly 60 per cent of local businesses say that the usually or occasionally use recycled materials in their business, with seven per cent saying that they always do.

Finally, supporting local business supports your neighbours. These are our friends and family and together, supporting local will always make our community stronger.

What do you think readers? Do you make an effort to shop local? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

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