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Let the Buy Local Challenge Begin (Dec 1st!)

November 24, 2011

Well Burnaby, after much thought (literally years of thought), I am going to dive head first into a Buy Local challenge.  Starting December 1st, and hopefully continuing for at least a year I will buying strictly from locally owned businesses.  I have mulled this over a tonne, and with holiday shopping season just around the corner (I’m a guy, so shopping is typically left until the 22nd if I am early!), it is so important to support local businesses.  But I want to make this an ongoing challenge – with any luck I can make it at least 365 days! The benefits of supporting local business are many.  Exact stats may be hard to find, but I would like to highlight a couple of really startling statistics that show the benefit of buying local.  For me, first and foremost the advantages lie in what some call the ‘local multiplier’, simply the amount of money that stays in our community when spent in a local business, as opposed to a chain retailer who’s headquarters are in some far off land.

Now I have read many different numbers when it comes to the ‘local multiplier’, or how much money stays in the community when you buy local.  One of the most optimistic figures I have come across (and why not be optimistic!) is a study by Local First in Michigan which shows that when you spend $100 locally, $68 stays within the community, while if you spend $100 at a business HQ’d outside of your community only $43 stays within the community – quite a huge difference!

Local businesses have more to gain from a strong community, and it makes sense that they would do more to support other local businesses, make donations to local groups, and spend much of their marketing dollars within the community.  Surely the bigger guys do the same, but not to the same magnitude. It is important to support local.

So my year (and with any luck more) starts December 1st.  I will attempt to use this blog to talk about experiences, field questions, and most importantly PROMOTE OUR AMAZING LOCAL BUSINESSES!  I hope to complete as much of my project as possible in Burnaby, but I will not rule out purchasing from local businesses based in other communities (I will try to lay out some ‘ground-rules’ in the coming weeks, though I won’t try to make this too rules-ey).

Another goal I will be working hard to implement is a Community Currency, a currency that can be used to buy goods from local businesses, and also our community members – cause I know we have some great skills (dare I say skillz!)  in our community, and I sure would like to see them kept here!  I will obviously talk more about this time progresses.

I will also do my darndest to keep this blog up-to-date!  But I will need your help on that one.  Please use this blog as a forum, let me know what your favorite businesses are, your thoughts on our community or whatever else you would like to share.  I am not a pro at this, and I will live off of your support!

That’s all for now! We will talk soon!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2011 3:59 pm

    Were you inspired by Sheila Keenan in New West? Sheila recently completed a one-year buy local challenge in New West! She found it challenging but fulfilling!

    • December 6, 2011 9:04 pm

      Hey Briana, Sorry for not returning your message sooner. I was not aware of Shiela’s project, but I would love to learn more about it. I am fairly new to the North Fraser area, and am always looking for inspiration. Can I find her online anywhere?

  2. December 7, 2011 4:29 pm

    Hi, here’s my blog: http://newwest-localshopper.blogspot.com/
    I had more trouble with the blog than the shopping. I had good intentions about posting regularly, but really slipped after the first few months.
    It was a worthwhile experiment in all kinds of ways. I saved lots of money on gas and saved tons of time. It was also very gratifying to shop at small businesses. Small business owners are so appreciative of their customers. Best of luck to you on your experiment, I’m sure you will find it rewarding.

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