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The Huge Impact of Buying Local

  • November 6, 2020
  • Written by Community Futures

Canadian small businesses have a huge impact on our national and local economies. There are more than 1 million small businesses in Canada accounting for more than 10 million jobs. On average, from 2011 to 2015, the contribution of small businesses to Canadian GDP was 40.8 percent. That’s huge! 

However, the Canadian economy changed dramatically in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and the situation has had a profound negative impact on Canadian businesses. 60% of small businesses reported revenue declines of more than 20% and, unfortunately many business have had to layoff staff or even close.

There is no doubt that our small businesses are struggling and when small businesses struggle we all struggle.

The simple act of shopping local could have a HUGE impact on your community. As we move forward into the holiday season consider the many ways you are helping your community thrive by shopping local:

Grows the Local Economy

When you support local businesses your money recirculates in your community, creating a multiplier effect. Dollars spent locally, can in turn be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base. It’s estimated that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remains local.

Creates Local Jobs

Small businesses are often some of the largest employers in our communities. Between 2013 and 2017, for example, Canadian small businesses accounted for 85.3 percent of net job creation in the private sector, while in 2017 they employed 89.6 percent. Buying locally means that employment levels are more likely to be stable, and may create more opportunities for local residents to work (and shop) in their communities.

Local Owners Support Local 

Locally owned businesses contribute more to local charities and fundraisers than their national counterparts. By volunteering or making donations local business owners support local sports teams, non-profits, community groups and more. Local business owners invest in the community and have a vested interest in the future of the community.

Increased Consumer Choice

Because local businesses have a smaller consumer base, they have the advantage of tailoring their product and sales strategies for their communities. This helps increase the diversity of local products and services and better meet the demands of the community. Additionally, products from local artisans or producers allow consumers to share the culture of their community with friends and family around the world.

Better Customer Service

When shopping at local businesses you’re seen as an individual not a consumer statistic. You get a personal connection with local owners – face-to face. The relationship built between residents and small business owners often spans years and, as a result, the service is often better.

Increases the Value of our Communities

At Community Futures we can’t imagine a world without our local businesses - they help keep our communities alive.

Communities served by successful small businesses often see home values increase. This growth helps attract new investment and, over time, helps create increases in local tax revenue. Increased local tax revenue helps us invest in infrastructure and amenities.

The benefits of a thriving small businesses are not limited to economic benefits. Equally important is that independent businesses define the community’s self-image and creates a sense of pride for the people who live there. Simply put, these businesses shape the identities of our communities. The places where we eat, shop, and have fun all have the potential to make a community feel like home.

Promotes Local Entrepreneurship

By growing local entrepreneurs we can ‘recruit from within’ rather than always trying to recruit externally. Small businesses have the potential to become large businesses. Additionally, local economic growth will attract new talent and professionals, who may, in turn, create businesses of their own, enhancing our local economies while promoting local entrepreneurship.


Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community and are just as invested in the community’s future as you. When you support these businesses you are getting better products and service while supporting the growth of your community by keeping wealth local; increasing local jobs; and increasing local charitable donations. All while increasing the value of our communities as a whole.

These are HUGE impacts. Consider shopping local and we will grow together.  

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