We hear a lot about supporting local businesses, especially at Christmas time. Why is this a good thing and why should we pay attention to it?
In 2014 there were 382, 600 small businesses (less than 50 people) operating in British Columbia employing over a million employees. This is 98% of all businesses in the province and accounts for 33% of the gross domestic product. Roughly 80% of these businesses had less than 5 employees.
These businesses are owned by local entrepreneurs in the communities who employ local people who spend their wages locally, pay taxes locally, and otherwise support the community through various volunteer activities. The employers also spend their money locally, pay taxes, invest in the community through employment, volunteer activities, and contribute to the community fundraisers. They also support local producers by marketing their goods.
In Nanaimo, where I live, there are 5400 businesses of which roughly 4200 have less than 5 employees. These are the people who build and support our community. There is an increasing move to purchase online partly based on greater selection but mostly in search of cheaper pricing.
The cheaper pricing comes at a cost. It can mean decreased business for the local business, perhaps less employment, resulting in less money circulating in the community and less involvement in the community support systems.
Before spending your money on a product or service, please consider the local businesses in your community. They employ your neighbours and friends and support the community.
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