This Christmas season instead of going out of your way to hit the major box stores in Calgary, Airdrie or Cochrane for Christmas shopping, try instead to include some local content in your gift-giving.
There are many small stores and home-based businesses in local communities that can use your support. We realize people’s Christmas dollars are going to need to be stretched, and many are having to cut back on their Christmas shopping in light of economic circumstances. But for those more limited Christmas dollars, what do you think the recipients will appreciate more? Something generic and cheap anyone can buy anywhere? Or something unique and local bought from your neighbours or friends?
The answer seems obvious, but still many seem to turn to the big box stores first instead of driving up the street to the store on the corner and making a purchase there.
Not only does supporting that local business help out someone in the community who is more often than not in the same fiscal boat as you, it also adds cashflow into the community itself which can circulate to help out many local businesses.
In each and every community there is only a certain amount of money sloshing around at any given time. With major centres like Cochrane, Airdrie or Calgary new money is always being added to the local money pot to flow through those communities from surrounding communities and outside traffic. However, in more out of the way communities, that money pot is not being refreshed as often, and, over time, can become depleted to a point where those local businesses can no longer sustain themselves. And then what are you left with? Virtual ghost towns where once thriving communities existed, or purely bedroom communities with no shops of their own. That is why if you are stopping to visit any small local community for any reason, you should try to buy something– even if it is small.
This holiday season instead of taking your money out of your community to benefit outsiders, consider keeping it at home and helping out your own neighbours.