Shop local, help the town thrive

It pains me to hear that some businesses in Vanderhoof are going through tough times

Apryl Veld – Omineca Express

It  pains me to hear that some businesses in Vanderhoof are going through tough times. I’m bothered partly because my family owned a business in a small town. The store was a central drop-in spot where you could not only get a bag of nails, some plumbing parts or a fry pan, but also chat with old friends around the wood stove and catch up on news.

Towns need their comfortable haunts; and a few places are really key to how all towns work.

It was important to folks that the grocery, the cafes, the hardware and the gift/craft shop and tradespeople were there. It wasn’t just that we made employment for ourselves and others in the community or that our services were handy and friendly.

These businesses really kept us from having to drive 40 minutes or more to the next town for a head of lettuce or jug of milk. And also if we wanted to take ourselves out for an ice cream, to get someone a birthday present, or grab a skein of yarn they were there for our need.

It was important we had an electrician and farrier, a  place to get our chainsaw fixed or to sharpen our skates. Life can become very inconvenient if businesses in small towns start to struggle and fail because people are always shopping away at big centres.

It weakens the whole viability of the town and why people want to live there. What if your pipes burst and there’s no plumber? What if the drug store shuts down, and you need a prescription? These are examples of how shopping local affects your life in significant ways.

It’s also important if you own a business to go out of your way to show you value patrons by assuring good quality and service, and not assuming folks will come because it’s convenient. People will go out of their way to avoid feeling taken for granted.

Top 10 reasons for shopping locally

1. Local economy is simulated

2. Local charities get more support

3. Unique shops bring character to the town

4. Environmental impact is reduced, use of fuel

5. Many new jobs are created by local businesses

6. Customer service is often better because people remember you

7. Local business owners usually shop local and many volunteer as well

8. Benefits to shoppers tend to outshine the costs

9. Competition and variety means more buying choice and less generic offerings

10. People in the town matter more to each other if they buy from each other and support the town