April is Earth Month and one fantastic way to live sustainably is to support local businesses! Whether it's a retail shop, a grocery store, a restaurant, or a supplier, they help keep our city a unique and diverse place, re-invest more money into our community, and support the community through creating local jobs.

Supporting Local Matters!

 

What is local business?

The term, “local business,” can be defined differently depending on what degree of local you use. Let’s use the definition that a local business is one that has private ownership and is headquartered in town, with most of the owners living in the community.

This definition can be molded as you wish. For example, if you want a BC-Local business, you would expand the location of the business headquarters to all of BC.

 

 

Why is it so important to support?

Local businesses, whether they are restaurants, retail stores, or anything beyond, help support our community as a whole. They contribute to the unique diversity of the city. They supply employment to locals. They are more likely to support local causes, charities, and events. Businesses even support each other, on social media, by word of mouth, and by stocking and supplying others’ local products and services. All because they are part of the community, from the owners to the staff to the clientele.

 

 

Economic Impacts

One of the biggest areas of impact for supporting local businesses is the financial side of things. Buying something from a local business versus a chain store looks at first glance like it costs you the same amount, and it does. But after the purchase, a local business will use and reinvest more money in our community than a chain store will.

Local businesses re-circulate 4.6 times more revenue in the local economy than a multinational corporation does. In other words, for every $100 spent, they re-circulate, on average, $63 back into our local economy. A big corporation usually will only re-invest $14 into any given community.

Let’s break it down even further:

  • Local retailers re-circulate 63% of revenue compared to 14% for chains
  • Local restaurants re-circulate 68% compared to 30% for chains
  • Local suppliers (e.g. office supplies, etc.) re-circulate 33% compared to 19% for chains

 

 

Social Impacts

Spending money at a local business also has a ripple effect in terms of jobs and the growth of the community. If we all shopped at local businesses 10% more often, bcbuylocal.com states that it could generate 14,150 jobs, 25 times more donations to charities, and $4.3 billion for the economy across the province.

 

 

Environmental Impacts

There are many environmental benefits when we shop locally, especially in the realm of food, restaurants, and markets. One is that your Food Miles are reduced. Food Miles means the distance your food comes to get to your plate. With larger corporations, our food tends to come from over 2000 km away, traveling by airplane or truck. With local businesses, the food comes from right here. This means that the carbon footprint of the food is smaller, having cut down on fuel consumption and air pollution. There also isn’t a need for shipping facilities or packaging facilities.

With local businesses and smaller distances traveled, the food, especially produce, can be fresher, without the need for refrigeration. Local farmers also tend to pride themselves on organic, hormone-free, and pesticide-free products, which is fantastic for the environment. No chemicals end up in the soil, water supply, or the air.

If local farmers are supported, their land remains agricultural. They don’t feel the need to sell their land, often to developers, saving that land from becoming housing, retail shopping, office space, or anything else. Farmland also provides farming spaces for wildlife to live, to rest, or to find food.

 

 

To find local businesses in downtown Victoria, check out our Business Directory! You can search by letter, category, or name.

 

For more information about how important it is to shop local, check out these resources:

 

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