Editorial: Think local for your holiday shopping

Commit a portion of our shopping dollars to local businesses

Chances are your email was inundated with ads for online Black Friday sales, followed closely by even more ads – this being the electronic age and all – for Cyber Monday sales, promising even bigger and better deals.

While we all like a deal, and yes, it can be a real time-saver to order from the comfort of your living room, what’s missing from that equation?

Many people choose Oak Bay for the setting it offers – its attractive streetscape, its outdoor amenities and yes, the village atmosphere afforded by those shops and services along Oak Bay Avenue and in Estevan Village.

You won’t find large chain stores in either location. What you will find are local businesses owned and operated by local people. Those boutiques, galleries, restaurants, shops and services are employ local people and give back to the community – just witness the hundreds gathered for Sunday night’s light-up, which in addition to delighting young and old, also raised money for the Oak Bay Fire Department’s extra equipment needs.

According to Think Local First, a collection of the region’s businesses including Ivy’s Bookshop, Buddies Toys and others, “two or three times as much money spent stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses.”

Further, those businesses invest more in local labour, pay more local taxes, spend more time on community-based decisions and create local events. They make more local purchases themselves and are statistically more likely to give to local charities.

So as a thank you for all that those local businesses contribute to our community, let’s repay the favour by committing a portion of our shopping dollars to them.