Thinking about it, I spend a lot of time talking about the big guys: popular retail, grocery and restaurant chains, both national and international. New products, sales, promos… I’m all over it, like a shopaholic with a platinum credit card. (Or me, with my platinum credit card.)
However, it’s come to my attention that I simply don’t spend enough time tooting the horns of local businesses – and the owners who dedicate a large part of their lives to creating quality, unique (and often delicious) products.
It’s time to change that.
Home grown businesses not only offer local character and prosperity; they build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbours in economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. And the distinctiveness! Small businesses produce products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their customers – which guarantees a much broader range of product choices. In fact, some of my most unique purchases have been from gift shops, clothing boutiques and cafés in my very own neighbourhood.
Do you shop your neighbourhood?
I’m so pleased to announce my collaboration with Yellow Pages, a company with a century-long legacy of working with Canada’s small businesses. This year, I was one of five writers from across Canada selected to create authentic and original local stories coming from real neighbourhoods and real residents. Introducing Shop The Neighbourhood.
On my feature list? How about Elm Hill Cookies, chock full of sweet treats baked fresh every morning in the heart of downtown Oakville. Or Sienna Boutique, an upscale women’s clothing store serving a community of fashion lovers for almost three years. And I can’t forget about Cagneys, a gastronomic fixture in Streetsville for the last 40 years.
Curious? Read my “Meet Your Neighbours” profiles on www.shoptheneighbourhood.ca. Here, I’ll introduce you to some of my favourite local businesses, and get up close and personal with the shop owners. In essence, I’ll show you why we all should #shopthehood.
And, save the date: on Saturday, November 29th, in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, Shop The Neighbourhood encourages Canadians to support the small businesses in their communities by making a local purchase on that day.
So, who wants to meet me for a sweet treat at Elm Hill Cookies?
Small businesses play a key role in creating strong local economies and contribute to making neighbourhoods thriving places to live, work and play. Shop The Neighbourhood is an event that celebrates their invaluable contribution to our communities and a reminder for all Canadians of how shopping locally makes a difference in all our lives. For more information, local shopping tips, and much more, visit Shop The Neighbourhood on Facebook.