Cross-border shopping is a challenging reality for Canadian businesses, particularly those in communities such as Abbotsford that are very close to the border.
The high Canuck dollar and the lure of lower prices at American retail outlets located within an hour’s drive or less from almost one million people in the South Fraser and Fraser Valley regions means literally millions of dollars flowing out of our economy and into that of the U.S.
In the Tuesday, Feb. 26 issue of The News, we featured a series of stories that focused on the issue of cross-border shopping.
They contained important information for local consumers, to make informed decisions about their purchasing patterns, and how they view local business.
As a recent Senate report acknowledges, many Canadian shoppers are of the opinion they are being gouged by businesses in this country.
While not dismissing that potential, there are some major, important factors that result in price gaps between Canadian and American goods.
Chief among them are tariffs and taxes levied on businesses and imported goods in Canada, which American retailers and suppliers don’t face.
Local consumers need to keep that in mind when they make buying decisions.
They should also remember that a strong local economy is essential, and that local businesses contribute in very significant ways to the community. Chief among them is that they provide jobs, and in countless cases, give back to the community by supporting schools, organizations and charities.
There’s a price to be paid for those bargains across the line.