It is the most used buzz-word by most chamber of commerce members is to “Shop Local”.
There are several products that my family and I will buy only from local merchants (mainly high quality food).
The main reason that I do not shop local for all my needs is the cost. Honestly, the price difference is incredible for some locally made products and I can’t justify to spend extra money out of my budget to make another business more successful.
I will give an example. We have a popular chocolatier close to Vancouver Island called Denman Island Chocolates. For a small bar (46g), they retail for $2-$3. I understand it is organic but the raw cocoa doesn’t come from there so you are basically paying for their marketing and is it priced right?
In the days of daily deals, consumers should be aware of the ridiculous markups of some merchants and what they charge.
Example, I have a friend that worked overseas for a software company that sold Point of Sale software. He did the implementation (similar to my day-job) and trained the merchants. This one merchant that he was helping one day (a store similar to Pier-One Imports), did not want to reveal how high their margins were. This merchant always promoted themselves as a local business.
I don’t buy this argument that local business supports the local economy more than any other business.
“Just a small shift in spending at locally owned businesses can have a compounding effect keeping dollars in our community, creating jobs and so much more,” says founding member Gayle Robinson of Robinson’s Outdoor Store.
If local business was more transparent with their earnings and how they support community groups and showing how many living-wage (not minimum wage) jobs they support with their business, then I would be more likely to support local business.
Do you shop local when you can?