Hey Collingwood, Ontario! You're spending your money anyway...let's make that purchase count!
Ways to support the small, local businesses you find here.
Shopping local feels great, but it can cost more. Sometimes you're not ready to dive all the way in, and that's ok too. We've been living with the convenience and price slashing of big box stores for so long we've become accustomed to it.
You can still support your local businesses, with smaller purchases, setting the intention to wean yourself off big box, or just by giving them a shout out.
Buy a gift card.
Not sure what to get, but want to show your support? No problem. Gift cards give twice - once to the recipient and again to the small business you're supporting.
This town is full of incredible, innovative, inspiring entrepreneurs. Show them some love on social media and discover the gift that keeps on giving.
Spread the word.
Tell your friends and family about all the incredible small businesses you find here, and anywhere! They don't have the same PR budget as Walmart.
Why you NEED to care.
It's not hard to determine why people support companies like Amazon, Walmart and Costco: It's easy and it's cheap.
These corporations are SMART. Effectively, they've just taken what we already built (a marketplace filled with variety), condensed it and put it all under one roof. In doing so, they've eliminated the overhead of individual ownership, drove convenience through the roof, and with everyone in the world shopping there, they can afford to force their suppliers into lower pricing.
So smart, right? Morally questionable, but smart.
So what happens if the small business sector gets obliterated? The small businesses of the world are collectively our own multi-national entity, and the only ethically driven competition these mega-stores have. Sure, their prices are low now, but that's a tactic to edge out their small business competition. So what will happen when that competition is removed? Will the prices remain low and reasonable? And what happens to quality?
First, give this a think. Look how these corporations operate now. Last year Walmart made $514,400,000,000 USD. They could effectively wipe out world hunger. They could certainly pay a decent wage. They could easily source their products ethically. Yet they choose not to.
So why would we depend on them to suddenly behave ethically when we remove the competition?
If you think toilet paper is expensive now - brace yourself.
How the small business sector protects consumers.
In addition to supporting friends, neighbours and all around cool people, putting your dollars into small businesses protects your future as a consumer.
They drive reasonable pricing.
Unlike the big corporations that lower prices by cutting corners and paying employees the smallest legal amount, they focus on balancing prosperity for themselves, their employees, their communities with the quality of their product.
They determine the quality standard.
Creativity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. So in addition to driving incredible ideas to market, small businesses provide a level of quality that consumers prefer to saving a few bucks. And that raises the bar for the whole market.
They provide the only ethical competition.
The small business sector is collectively its own multi-national corporation. The difference is that instead of being managed by detached, money hungry figureheads, it is managed by heart-centred, passionate individuals.