EDITORIAL: Benefits of shopping local

Many Canadians heading down to the U.S. to take advantage of Black Friday sales probably think it’s no big deal...

Many Canadians heading down to the U.S. to take advantage of Black Friday sales probably think it’s no big deal to shop outside the country. After all, many of the stores at local malls are U.S.-based chain stores anyways — really, what difference does it make to head south?

Well, the truth is, taking your hard-earned dollars out of the country does hurt Canada and here’s why: jobs and taxes.

Dollars that stay in Canada keep Canadians employed. It’s that simple. If you spend in Washington, you are keeping Americans employed.

But your fellow citizens here in Abbotsford need jobs, too, and Canadian retailers are employing your kids, your neighbours’ kids, and moms, dads and grandparents of kids who live here. These jobs enable your neighbours to pay taxes, which keeps our social welfare safety net, including public health care, intact.

If that doesn’t convince you to shop local, here are a few more reasons:

• Shopping diversity: Small business owners offer unique products that you can’t get anywhere else and our marketplace would be poorer without them. By shopping at small local stores, you will enrich the marketplace and ensure there are more interesting places to buy goods in your neighbourhood.

• Price check: There are some products available in the U.S. that are cheaper but many others, such as electronics, for example, are basically the same price in the Lower Mainland as they are in, say, Bellingham, especially once you figure in the dollar difference.

Other issues to consider are the environmental benefits of driving less and keeping your carbon footprint small. Not only will you be putting your dollars to work in a way that provides economic spin-offs for your community, you won’t have to sit in a border lineup.

Now that sounds like a good deal.

– Black Press