OUR VIEW: Shopping local has a trickle-down effect

It's Chamber of Commerce week in B.C. and there are many reasons to shop locally in Grand Forks.

Monday, Feb. 20 not only saw the start of a new week, it also saw the beginning of Chamber of Commerce week.

The Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) has a membership base that is in the neighbourhood of 100-plus individuals and businesses.

While the BCRCC says that chambers provide benefits and services to local businesses to stimulate local economies, direct community promotion and support and engage in a multi-level advocacy role, there are ways – one major way in particular – that locals can help local businesses as well.

You’ve probably heard an infinite number of times that it is important to shop local and you’ve probably also heard the reasons and benefits for shopping local just as many times – the reasons seem to be universal and many organizations and websites preach similar values.

Shopping local helps the wheel that is the local economy go round and it has a trickle down effect.

The local economy and employment are important everywhere, including Grand Forks, and when people shop local, they are not only contributing money that will go towards services.

Local businesses may purchase items from other locally-owned businesses and this reciprocity benefits everyone.

For instance, a restaurant may purchase its ingredients from other locals (farmers etc.) and when you eat out, you are essentially helping both the restaurant and the producers.

Money that is spent locally enables local business owners to provide employment and pay wages for area residents – local jobs are a good thing.

Global warming, greenhouse gas emissions and air quality are terms that have been in the news over the years and believe it or not, shopping locally can affect that as well.

Heading down to the United States or driving to the coast, or even to Kelowna, will consume more fossil fuels and produce more carbon emissions than simply driving to a local business.

Another reason for shopping local that many point to has to deal with customer service.

In the case of Grand Forks, the population is in the neighbourhood of about 4,000 people and in a city that small, it is said that everyone knows each other.

While you can debate whether that is actually true, there is a good chance that when you go into a local business, the person behind the counter will know you.

Thus, they will likely know your likes and dislikes and could be better suited to cater to your needs.

But shopping local shouldn’t be something saved for Chamber Week, it should occur all year.

– Grand Forks Gazette