Let’s Give Saskatchewan Businesses Some Love!
Without realizing it, I kind of had a theme going for the I Heart Regina blog this summer—it was a shop local theme, and it really made me think about the importance of supporting our local businesses.
Why Shop Local
Every community has business owners that benefit when consumers shop local. Farmers, artisans, bakeries, coffee shops, stores, manufacturers, and many other business owners all profit when you shop local.
When you shop local, you aren’t lining the pockets of a CEO who is making a 7 figure salary; you are helping a farmer put their child in hockey for the upcoming season. Your support helps a small business owner employ other local area residents.
One study showed that when you shop local, 68 cents of every dollar stays in your region, while half of that stays in the province when you shop at a chain.
Local business owners are also more inclined to support other local businesses, which in turn creates a powerful chain reaction.
What are the Benefits for You When You Shop Local?
As a consumer, the benefits are outstanding when you shop local. Your produce is fresher and less likely to be filled with pesticides. You won’t have to eat fruit that is gassed in order for it to ripen at exactly the right time. Obviously, we are unable to eat curbside produce all year-long here, but I like to buy locally produced food whenever possible—it’s why I love the Regina Farmer’s Market!
If you’ve never tasted produce grown by local farmers, you need to get on that! A tomato grown locally doesn’t even taste the same as one grown several countries away. It’s like comparing two different items.
Pottery from TWB Home Decor in Emerald Park
As someone who visits a lot of local businesses, I can honestly say the best service I get is from local businesses. The employees are more invested and often the business owner is serving food or running the till. The sense of ownership and pride in their business shows in the excellent service and quality of production.
Keeping our community original is only possible when we have access to unique businesses. Chain stores serve a purpose, but when communities come together and support local businesses, we as consumers have access to items that are different from what everyone else has. I went to TWB Home Decor a few weeks ago, and almost everything was made in Canada. Many of them were handmade and a lot of them were distinct to Saskatchewan. You simply can’t buy things like that at a chain store.
Saskatchewan produced honey
Every dollar you spend at a locally owned company is said to return three times the value into the community. This is by employing other local residents, supporting other local businesses, and paying income, city, and business taxes.
The carbon footprint of a local business is less than that of a multi-national corporation. This is especially true with local produce, meat, and grains. SInce they don’t have to be shipped thousands of kilometres, they naturally create less environmental waste. Add to that the reduced packaging on many fresh products and you have a great reason to shop local!
Where can you Start Shopping Locally?
There are tons of ways you can support local Saskatchewan businesses. One of the easiest ways is to eat once in a while at a locally owned restaurant. My friend Kara and I go out once a month on a “date” and we try to only go to non-franchise restaurants. We’ve enjoyed some fantastic dinners this way!
It’s harder to shop for products, but it’s definitely doable. In addition to TWB Home Decor, there are tons of other great options, such as WP Home and Garden, Crocus and Ivy, Tatanka Boutique, Hillberg & Berk, The Gallery Shop at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, among others.
Afternoon tea at Cafe Francais
I’m not saying you need to shop only at local businesses. It’s unrealistic in our global economy. And I know large chains also employ local Regina residents – both of my kids and many of my friends work at big box stores, so I don’t have a hate for them!
But, if you have the chance, why not support your neighbors and friends by supporting the businesses that produce, sell, and create their wares right here in Canada?
Shop local and help make our community better. What are your favourite local businesses you love to support? Share it in the comments so we can check them out!