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Why shop locally? What’s in it for me?

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When it comes to deciding where to shop, we’re all tempted by the same things: brand loyalty, price, selection, convenience and more. Increasingly, online shopping and even big box stores offer the best of all worlds. You can find virtually anything you want, at competitive prices, in one stop – even from your couch or desk.

Still, there are a number of reasons to shop locally – some obvious and some less so. The shops and small businesses in your neighbourhood may not always have the same built in advantages of the national chains and online stores, but they offer benefits of their own that can make them a valuable part of your shopping habits.

A different kind of convenience
Chances are, if you live in a city like Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, your local area has everything you need. In fact, other nearby neighbourhoods probably do as well - get out and explore!

Why fight for parking at big box store or mall when so many options are close by? And although it’s hard to beat the “shop from your couch” convenience of online shopping, the opposite – fresh air and exercise – has its own obvious benefits. A brisk hour-long walk through your neighbourhood makes a nice dent in Health Canada’s recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week!

Try before you buy
The ability to try on a pair of shoes, taste a new cheese or see the way a pen writes is one of the best things about shopping in person; according to research conducted by Yellow Pages, 52% of in-store shoppers cite “interaction with product” as a key driver of their behaviour.

And while that experience holds true at a big box store, your local shops can offer goods and services that you just can’t get at the mall. From handmade clothing to unique items sourced from near and far, you can be sure your neighbourhood has something to offer that you can’t get anywhere else.

Build personal relationships within your community
Becoming a “local” at a nearby shop or restaurant can be a great feeling. Having a shop owner who knows what you want, and is willing to order the things they don’t have just for you, is a whole new level of convenience. That sort of relationship may even result in better deals from time to time!

But ultimately it’s about community. The small business owners and their employees who work in your neighbourhood likely live in your neighbourhood as well. You’re getting to know your neighbours and building the community spirit that helps neighbourhoods grow and thrive.

Support your neighbourhood economically
Beyond feel-good community building, shopping locally has definite economic benefits. Studies suggest that each $100 spent at local independent stores in turn generates $45 of secondary local spending. The same $100 spent at a big box store only generates $14 in secondary spend. And it’s not just about circulating dollars; strong local shopping areas even have a positive impact on local property values.

Shop locally, year-round
From convenience to economics, it’s clear that shopping locally has benefits – and those benefits give local shopping a place alongside the national chains and online stores. Next time you need to buy a gift, need something unique for your next dinner or party or just want some “retail therapy,” why not check out what’s just outside your door?

Get involved

Show your support for shopping in your community by displaying a Shop The Neighbourhood window cling in your storefront, or a digital banner on your website. Get yours for free today!

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About Shop The Neighbourhood

Shop The Neighbourhood is a Yellow Pages initiative to encourage local shopping and support for small businesses. Shop The Neighbourhood raises awareness of the large-scale push from retailers both online and across the border which moves dollars away from the small businesses and directly impacts the health of our neighbourhoods and our communities.

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