Thanks for shopping local

photo credit:  HelloU Facebook page

Browsing through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, a post with the image above caught my eye.

As a small business owner, I could not agree more.  Almost all small business owners that I know are like me – few of us have second homes, not sure which one of us can boast a 3rd holiday home.

This time of year, when shopping for gifts hits a frenzied pace, I watch with admiration as many small business owners in my neighborhood bravely stand strong in the face of Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day deals heavily promoted by the big multinational chain stores.

It’s a good time to broadcast the facts about the The Local Multiplier Effect.

In a nutshell:

For every $1.00 spent at a local business, $0.45 is reinvested within your community.  Only $0.15 is reinvested locally when you shop at a corporate chain.

I for one, am going to take pause and give consideration to where my hard earn dollars are going during this spending season.

If you live in the east end of Toronto, Leslieville, The Beach, East York, here are some suggestions:

  • Forget about the corporate gift card for the coffee lover.  Consider instead a gift certificate from local cafe owners, Trish and James who run  Grinder on Main. 
  •  How about a custom piece of jewellery hand crafted by local artists for that special lady in your life?  Drop by  Old’s Cool General Store  in East York.  Business owners, Zahra and Mariko greet their regulars by name, welcoming kids who stop by after school for candy with the same enthusiasm as the elderly gentleman who comes by each Saturday to pick up his weekly newspaper.
  • Maybe some out-of-the-box thinking for your teenager this year?  Try this totally cool Friday Night Out cooking course custom made for teens at Pitchfork Company, run by local resident Kim Antonius.
  • Another twist on cooking classes can be had from Lesia Kohut, with the Cooking Collective.  If you love to cook but don’t have time, this one is for you.
  • Tanya Dercach at Birch & Co. has you covered for the mother-in-law. Home decor, unique Christmas tree ornaments or china – she has it all and more.
  • While out and about, you have to talk to Jeremy Lago of The Pantry.  Ask him about his Wine and Cheese Soirees – a most thoughtful date night gift for the foodie in your life.
  • The gift of laughter can be had from another local resident Dawn Chapman of Lazy Daisy’s Cafe.  If you did not know this already, the cafe transforms into a hopping local during special event nights.  And Erin Keany’s comedy routine is not to be missed.
  • And I would be totally remiss not to mention how  Tiffinday curries would make the perfect gift for the vegan or vegetarian in your life.  Here’s where you can buy them.

All the business owners listed here are my friends and neighbours.  Like me, each one of them is supporting their family through the proceeds of their respective small businesses.

Keep your “gifting” local this year keeps your money circulating within our ‘hood.  Any dollar you spend at the corporate chain will likely end up elsewhere, in the coffers of a CEO’s year end bonus.

Do the sensible thing and consider a local small business for your gift giving this year.


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