Community Futures Winnipeg River (CFWR) is launching a “Shop Local” initiative for the North Eastman region. The campaign is designed to educate and remind people why supporting local businesses is so important.
The campaign is built around 10 top reasons to shop local. Four promotional resources have been developed for small businesses in North Eastern Manitoba to use. They include a poster, a window decal, a document with marketing messages and a business strategies brochure. The hope is that with the cooperation of businesses in the region using the promotional materials in a wide variety of ways, people will see the same messages repeated which may then impact consumer behaviour.
The top ten reasons to shop local are:
#1: STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY.
Small businesses drive the local economy in Manitoba. 93% of Manitoba businesses employ less than 20 people. When you shop in locally-owned businesses your dollars have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. Money changes hands more frequently and more money remains in the community.
#2: SUPPORT COMMUNITY WELL-BEING.
Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods because they link neighbors and contribute more to local causes. Non-profits receive an average 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.
#3: KEEP YOUR COMMUNITY UNIQUE.
Retail chains are popular which means numerous people are consuming the same products. If you want something unique, shop local. Many small locally owned businesses specialize in niche products and services, keeping you and your community unique.
#4: CREATE LOCAL EMPLOYMENT.
Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally, offer greater loyalty to their employees, and in most sectors provide better benefits and wages than chains do. More local employment means a greater number of people staying in the community to work.
#5: GET PERSONALIZED SERVICE.
Local businesses hire people with a great understanding of the products they are selling, and who take time to get to know customers. They often go the ‘extra mile’ to provide the customer with what they need.
#6: ENHANCE INVESTMENT IN COMMUNITY.
Local business development is an investment in the community. Local business owners are residents with roots in the community and are involved in decisions that shape quality of life and the local environment.
#7: BUY WHAT YOU NEED QUICKLY AND EASILY.
Local businesses are close by allowing you to purchase what you need, when you need it, quickly and easily. Avoid long line-ups, heavy traffic and busy parking lots.
#8: SUPPORT LOCAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
55% of working Manitobans are self-employed entrepreneurs. When you shop local you support the people that are fostering community innovation and prosperity. Entrepreneurs inspire other people to start new businesses that in turn strengthen the community.
#9: REDUCE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS.
Independent, local businesses typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution.
#10: PUT YOUR TAXES TO GOOD USE.
Your taxes support required local infrastructure and services such as roads, utilities, and public safety. Local businesses typically require less infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Sharalyn Reitlo, Executive Director-Community Development of CFWR says that she’s excited about the initiative and expects to get a lot of support from local businesses and the community at large. “It’s a concept we all have to buy into if we want our local economy to grow,” she said.