Think about your local business around the corner when you’re about to click on the buy button on an online shopping property. It can’t be said enough.  Just think about everyday expressions about the way of the world today or actually…the  ‘perceptional’ size of our world. Expressions like, It’s a wild world out there, or actually it’s a small world, or better yet, the world is your oyster are only a few examples. These expressions all direct us to thinking of our world in a very global sense. Our world is definitely evolving rapidly – and in many ways, “thinking local”  is no longer the in-thing to do.

Technology Threatens the Local Fabric.

I see the technology advancement as a good thing, for the most part. From the inception of cars, trains, planes, to the first flight to the moon. Add the adoption of the internet, email and smart phones. Sprinkle in the proliferation of online shopping properties (amazon!). Blend in all the social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facetime, Instagram and business communications like Zoom…
Our world is small and getting increasingly smaller by the minute.

We can talk, no actually, we can see, anyone instantly that lives across the globe…we claim to have contacts and access to professionals that we’ve never shared a handshake with and partner with them. Yet, in spite of all this advanced technology making us feel that the world is shrinking,  it’s also becoming more far reaching. Perhaps the term is that I’m searching for is “accessibility”.

Our world has become uber-accessible for us all. And for the most part that’s a good thing.

With the availability of our world being at our fingertips, comes a responsibility to set our sights a little closer. Actually, a lot closer…to the corner store; to the cool boutique or consignment shop quite literally, around the corner or the local cheese boutique or butcher or _________________(fill in the blank). Don’t get me wrong, I get it…it’s so easy to scroll, autofill and click to purchase without leaving the couch. It’s so accessible.

But it’s not very local-minded…nor is it very community-focused. When COVID happened, admittedly, there was a surge in online shopping, However there was also a renewed sense of supporting the retail stores around our neighbourhoods which I believe is starting to wane. With COVID, there was a shared commitment and responsibility to invest in the community where we lived.  People recognized the importance of supporting their neighbourhood stores and restaurants. This shift wasn’t just about convenience and I would also say, it wasn’t about costs; it was about preserving the unique character of local communities.

Think Local: The ripple effect to each and every one of us, is well worth it.

Supporting local businesses bolsters the resilience of our communities. When we spend our money locally, we contribute to the economic vitality of our neighbourhoods. Local businesses employ our neighbours and help sustain our local economies.

Neighbourhood shops add flair and style to each community… they often propel a community’s vibrancy and identity. Small community businesses offer products and services that are original and unique…adding richness and and an emotive connection to their communities.

Shopping at your favourite local retailer may enable you to walk to the store, making you more physically active…You’ll get your steps in …and even if you have take a car, it often involves shorter rides, reducing carbon emissions associated with further distance transportation (not to mention that your local store won’t contribute logistically, in the same may as your giant big box retailers).

Local business is good for the soul and our mental well being. Local business fosters personal connections…a hello on the way in, a tid-bit of conversation, a familiar smile….getting to know people behind the counter or other patrons… provides all of us with a sense of community that that online properties an big box stores can’t replicate.

By choosing local you’re investing in your community, enhancing its unique character, and strengthening the bonds that hold it together. And you get the product or service that you need.  That should make you feel very good. And that’s just a win for everybody.

What are your thoughts about supporting the local community?