Fall fashion in the Okanagan is here and we've put a list of where you should shop this fall, including local businesses and unique boutiques.
Why Shop Local? 6 Reasons You Need to Support Local Today | ShopHopper
There's something about shopping local that just feels right, doesn't it? More often than not, the level of service is exceptional, you feel appreciated as a shopper, and there’s no better feeling than walking out with your new purchase knowing that you just made a difference for the owner and your community. But with any good thing, there’s always a catch, shopping local isn’t easy sometimes.
We get it. Buying from businesses whose name ends in -Zon or -Mart is fast, convenient, and cheaper. Ordering online and having your items shipped to your door saves you the hassle of traffic and parking, or shopping at a big box store means you can grab all of your items from A-Z in one place. Not to mention, the time you save is incredibly valuable. So you may be asking yourself, why shop local? Well, here are 6 reasons why you need to support local businesses.
1. You Support Local Businesses and Help Your Community Thrive
When you buy from a local business, you are not only supporting the owner and employees but also contributing to the vibrancy of your community. Local businesses help create a sense of place and provide jobs, goods, and services that meet the needs of the nearby people. I know when I shop locally, I feel a stronger connection to where I live. Sure, you could argue that when you shop at a big box store, you benefit the employees there, but much of that revenue doesn’t stay in the community. This is especially true when it comes to multi-national corporations. More on that later.
2. Local Shopping Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, every little bit counts. One of the best ways to reduce your impact is to shop locally. By buying from businesses that are close to you, you can cut down on the amount of transportation required, which means fewer emissions. According to CNBC, Amazon’s carbon emissions jumped 18% in 2021 as a result of the pandemic. This statistic shows the impact caused by the increased number of delivery vans, transport trucks, and planes needed to fulfill the rise in order demand. Not to mention the rapid growth of warehouses across the globe needed to house the products to fulfill orders.
Shopping locally supports the local economy, which in turn can help reduce pollution and waste. Many local businesses are the first to implement new ways to reduce their waste and improve their green initiatives as they genuinely care for the health of their community. For example, local retailers order many of their items in bulk, meaning less packaging per order. In addition, most small businesses offer cloth bags or paper bags to carry out your items.
Photo by Evie Calder on Unsplash
3. Get to know the Business Owners and Build A Relationship With Them
Have you ever walked into a local store and felt immediately at home? Usually, that results from the owner's dedication and passion for their business. Local businesses offer customer-focused service, and staff are usually trained by the owner.
This results in the owner having control over the level of service, expectations, and atmosphere in the store. In fact, many small, independent businesses will have the owner present most of the time, allowing you as the customer to have a more intimate experience guaranteed to leave you satisfied and wanting to return again.
One recently amazing interaction I had with a local business owner in Kelowna, BC, was with the owner of SIMS Jewelry Co, Sarah, at the Downtown Kelowna Associations “Arts On The Avenue” event. As soon as I walked up to her booth, I was greeted kindly and began small-talking. She asked me what I was looking for and when I told her I wasn’t sure, she quickly began recommending some of her beautiful jewelry to me that would match what I was wearing. We settled on a beautiful wrap-around charm bracelet (pictured on the right), and I left feeling happy with my purchase and like I had made a new friend. After that encounter, I told my friends and family about it.
4. Find Unique, one-of-a-kind items at Local Businesses that you won’t find at Big Box Stores
Finding a hidden gem while out shopping is such a good feeling. Maybe it's the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finally track down that perfect dress or the great deal you score on a vintage piece of furniture. Whatever the case may be, there's no denying the allure of a good bargain. However, sometimes the best deals are hiding in plain sight. When you shop at local businesses, you can find unique items that you won't find at big box stores. From handcrafted jewelry to one-of-a-kind pieces of art, there's an endless array of treasures waiting to be discovered.
5. Buying Local supports the Economy and creates Jobs in your Community
Remember when we said we would talk more about buying local versus multinational corporations? Well, here is why. A study conducted by LOCO BC Indie Impact shows that for every $100 spent locally, up to $63 is recirculated back into the community compared to only $14 from a multinational corporation. Local businesses recirculate 4.6 times more revenue in the local economy! Still not convinced? Did you know that local retailers re-circulate 63% of revenue compared to the 14% chain retailers do? What about local restaurants that re-circulate 68% compared to 30% of chains?
You may be wondering… Why is that gap so significant?
When you buy local, you are not only supporting your neighbours and community members, but you're also helping to boost the local economy. Every dollar you spend at a locally owned business goes back into the community through taxes, wages, and other expenditures. Local businesses have owners who live and create jobs in the community. In addition, many local events, teams, and charities can operate thanks to the donations and support from local businesses. And because locally owned businesses are invested in the community and cultivate a culture surrounding supporting their competitors or other independent business owners, many local shops prefer to buy and stock local products or use local services.
6. You can feel good about supporting Small Businesses that are doing good things in the World
Small businesses have a personal touch that you can't find at large corporations. When you shop at a small business, you feel like you're supporting your neighbour down the street. But it's not just the personal touch that makes small businesses so unique. They also tend to be more community-minded and philanthropic than their large-scale counterparts. Small businesses are often run by people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. They give back to their communities in many ways, from sponsoring local charities to hosting donation drives. And when you support a small business, you're helping to make the world a little bit better. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back the next time you buy from a small business - you're doing your part to make the world a better place!
With the rising cost of living and minimum wage barely keeping up, we understand that having the time, money, and transportation to shop locally is a privilege. However, there are some ways that you can begin supporting local businesses.
Our tips on how to start supporting local businesses today!
Find Out What Local Businesses are in Your Area
Knowing which businesses in your area are locally owned is the easiest way to start supporting local! This way, making recommendations to friends, family, or strangers is easy. Plus, you might discover a new favourite or go-to.
Use Social Media to Spread the Word About Your Favourite Local Businesses
It's getting harder and harder for small businesses to compete. That's why spreading the word about the ones you love is essential. And what better way to do that than through social media? A few kind words, a comment, a share, a follow... it takes just a moment, but it can have a big impact. Not only will it help draw new customers to the business, but it will also show the owner that you care. So next time you're looking for a place to eat or shop, remember the little guy - and give him a shout-out online. It'll make all the difference.
Support Your Local Businesses by Shopping at their Stores, even for Small Purchases
In these challenging times, supporting your local businesses is more important than ever. It might break the bank to stop at the smaller, locally owned artisan stores for your weekly grocery shop. But if you plan on cooking a fancy dinner or wanting to please your guests with a delicious dessert, we recommend doing so at one that is locally owned. Locally owned artisan markets usually carry farm-to-table or locally made products.
Attend Local Events and Meetups to Learn More about the Businesses in your Community
Getting out and meeting people in your community is a great way to support the small businesses that make up the fabric of our towns and cities. By attending local events and meetups, you can learn more about the businesses in your area and what they have to offer. You'll also have a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals who are passionate about supporting small businesses. This is important because when small businesses succeed, our entire community benefits. We all benefit from the unique products and services that small businesses provide, and we benefit from the jobs and economic activity that they generate. So next time you're looking for a way to support your community, remember that attending local events and meetups is a great way to show your support for the small businesses that make your community thrive.
Write Positive Reviews of Local Businesses on Google and Facebook
As we mentioned before, a review is literally worth a thousand words. In today's competitive market, customers have a lot of choices, and they often base their decisions on reviews. A few positive reviews can make all the difference for a small business. Google and Facebook are two of the most popular places to leave reviews, and they are both highly visible to potential customers. So if you take the time to write a positive review for a local business on either of these platforms, you will be helping that business to succeed. And that's something we can all feel good about.
Tell your Friends and Family about the Great Experiences you've had with Local Businesses
There's nothing quite like finding a local business that you can really rely on. Whether it's a cozy cafe with the perfect cup of coffee or a trusted mechanic who always gives you a fair price, these businesses quickly become an essential part of our lives. And when we have a great experience with a local business, it's only natural that we want to share that with our friends and family. After all, we want them to enjoy the same excellent service that we did. In today's competitive marketplace, word-of-mouth is more important than ever for small businesses. So next time you have a positive experience with a local business, be sure to spread the word. Your friends and family will be grateful, and the business will thrive as a result.
Use the New Local Shopping app ShopHopper
ShopHopper is a new local fashion shopping app that exclusively focuses on independent fashion and lifestyle retailers in the local area. Rather than running around town to find what’s in stock, ShopHopper allows shoppers to simply browse through a catalogue of items from local independent retailers right from their phone. To make it even easier, the ShopHopper team has developed their app with bespoke AI technology to personalize your shopping experience. Just input your style and size preferences, and the app will scour the local area and automatically find great deals and trendy new products catered just for you.
Try it for yourself. Download our app today.