Shopping local for a healthier economy

Spring is such an encouraging time of year, it has been a chance to get re-acquainted with my neighbours as we have all been outside pruning and trimming while enjoying the beautiful weather.

Watching plants grow and being able to clean up the edges around my property gives me an accomplished feeling and a colourful glow in my cheeks, best of all it’s a free activity and who isn’t looking for ways to spend less money lately?

Spend too much time on social media or watching the news and you can hear an overwhelming amount of negative information about the economy in Alberta.

It’s enough to send people packing which has resulted in large volumes of homes for sale in Central Alberta but there are those of us who are staying put in this province where we have been raised. Although we have little control over elements of our current economy we do have the power within our households to impact local economy, making it better for our community.

A simple formula is buy less and shop local, sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

Goods and services manufactured and produced in our community are the guaranteed way to keep dollars in our economy and to keep small business owners thriving and paying taxes. When we spend hours online shopping and adding to our credit cart debt we are robbing the local economy of much needed dollars.

I know that there are deals to be had at big box companies and from products imported at a cheap price but it is worth a second thought when you are considering a purchase that may be acquired closer to home.

Web sites like shopreddeer.com are great resources for finding local businesses which will help keep precious dollars in our community.

We don’t always have the option to buy local goods and services but how wonderful it is when you can make the choice to support a local business owner. I may pay a little more for a loaf of bread but I love the interaction of shopping at my favorite local bakery than just grabbing something off of a shelf at a big box store.

This morning I was buying scones from a former client and chatting with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, I left that bakery feeling pretty high on life and anticipating the glee on my colleague’s face when I brought treats to the office!

Frequent farmers markets and local shops and get to know your merchants who are working to keep business alive in Red Deer.

Enjoy our local bounty and strive to purchase smaller amounts of hand-crafted, locally grown and produced products, barter and trade with local business owners if they are willing.

The benefit of keeping dollars local goes had in hand with the amazing products and services you will find. I believe that you will enjoy spending your hard earned dollars more than simply giving them away to foreign companies who have little or no investment in our City.

It is time to close the borders a bit and to focus on products and services that support our local economy. It’s a wonderful networking opportunity and a chance to invest in Red Deer, you never know who you will meet at the market and what opportunities may be waiting for you!

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer’.

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