Shopping local: an investment worth making

Story by Tara Levick

Winter 2023/24

We’ve all heard the saying: small businesses are the backbone to any community. While we’ve heard it and understand it, sometimes supporting these small businesses is a different story.

The act of shopping, whether for groceries, clothing or home goods, is more than a routine transaction; it’s a reflection of our priorities and values. One of the most impactful choices we can make is to shop local. It’s not merely a transfer of money, but a conscious decision to invest in the heart and soul of our community. It’s about making an investment that produces many returns, often more significant and long-lasting than simply purchasing that good or service.

We live in a world dominated by e-commerce giants and same-day delivery. This means the survival of our local businesses has never been more vital. When we choose the corner bakery over a generic chain store, or dine at the family-owned restaurant down the street, we are making a financial contribution that recirculates back into Airdrie. It is a direct investment in the economic prosperity of our community. This helps bolster the local economy, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for everyone.

There’s a unique sense of community that local businesses cultivate. When we enter our favourite coffee shop, we’re not just customers; we’re acquaintances, friends and neighbours. Local business owners often know us by name and remember our preferences. Local businesses also act as gathering places, providing an opportunity for face-to-face interactions. These are spaces where we can meet friends and neighbours, share stories and forge connections that strengthen our community.

Shopping local is not just about purchasing goods and services; it’s a way to engage with the living history of your community. It’s an opportunity to touch the past, to connect with the traditions and to be a part of the ongoing story of our neighbourhood. In a world that often rushes forward, shopping local can be a meaningful way to step back and appreciate the value of history and tradition.

For me, one of the top reasons that makes me support local is that it helps to create a unique identity for Airdrie. It’s about the kind of community I want to help build and be a part of. It’s about realizing that, in my hands, lies the power to shape right outside my doorstep. Each local business has a story, a history and a connection to the community. When I engage with them, I feel like I am collecting stories and leave with a deeper understanding of Airdrie’s culture.

Shopping local is not just about buying products; it’s an investment in our community’s future. It fosters a sense of connection and strengthens the local economy, making it a choice that benefits everyone.

Shop local. It should be an easy choice!

Tara Levick is an Economic Development Officer with the City of Airdrie