SHOP LOCAL this holiday season!

SHOP LOCAL this holiday season!

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Contributors:

Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Policy analyst
Kathleen MacEachern

With the holiday season approaching, the Halifax Chamber hopes everyone, who can, will shop locally for their presents, meals, drinks and festive services.

It’s no secret COVID-19 had a great impact on our business community. We are optimistic that the holiday season will bring a renewed sense of passion for our small and medium-sized businesses and their products and services.

I’ve heard people say this year will be an “Amazon” Christmas. While I understand that many are under financial restraints this year and buying from big retailers may help with cost savings, there is something special about purchasing a locally-made ornament for your tree or a boutique apron for your collection.

Many are also worried about shopping locally in-store. Well, I’m excited to let you know that a lot of our small businesses in Halifax are now online!

There are many significant benefits to supporting these local small businesses.

The Local Economy

Given the impact of COVID-19, some may not be truly aware of its ripple effects on our economy. For example, a small business in Halifax might employ three people. Those three people might have families that rely on that one job.

This small business might also be supporting a local charity that relies heavily on donations from businesses across our province to operate.

We often think about the “profit” a business makes, but there are a lot of local small businesses that turn those profits into community projects or sponsorships for a local sports team. If local small businesses succeed so does the community.

The Environment

Purchasing locally saves on transportation emissions, delivery costs and, often, time. Purchasing locally can also help reduce the amount of plastic and packaging that comes with something ordered from a “big box” store.

We know people are trying to be more eco-friendly. So why not pick up a handmade scarf from a local retailer instead of ordering one online. Or order it online from the local retailer, and it will still save on emissions given the shorter transportation distance and time!

Unique Gift Ideas

You can often find special, unique products and services at local businesses that are not available elsewhere. Wouldn’t it be great to gift your mother something she didn’t see while browsing the internet for you?

Local retailers often stock locally made as well hand-made products that can be one-of-a-kind or part of a small and limited collection.

Why not book your best friend a family photoshoot by a local photographer? Or give a gift card to a local restaurant or spa? Many of us are guilty of having too much ‘stuff’ at home.

Sometimes a service, that can provide an afternoon of relaxation or a laugh with close friends and a drink, can be more memorable than another electronic device or yoga mat.

Customer Service

Small-business owners and employees often know more about the products and services they sell/serve. They offer a personal touch to your shopping experience.

They make the order, speak with representatives of the products/service they sell, and generally spend more time ensuring they have what customers want.

Not only can they help you purchase something unique, but they may help you learn something new about that special gift––which you can pass on to the recipient. It’s a win-win!

There are endless reasons why we should shop local this holiday season. But most importantly, we need to do it to keep our local businesses sustainable and their employees employed.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming special-holiday edition of the Chamber’s bulletin, to find amazing products and services from our local business community. I know there is something out there for everyone to enjoy, whether through giving or receiving!

So, don’t forget to SHOP LOCAL this holiday season to support our local businesses and our Nova Scotian economy.



From Deloitte's Partner, Audit & Assurance, Stephen Lund: We surveyed 1000 Canadian consumers across age groups, financial situations, and geographic regions to understand their feelings and attitudes towards holiday shopping this coming year. Our study, Fundamental shifts in holiday shopping habits of Canadians accelerate, goes deeper than how much consumers are planning to spend and uncovers answers to:

  • What will they be spending?
  • Has consumer confidence dropped?
  • How has COVID-19 changed shopping habits?
  • Is Amazon’s strength undeniable?
  • How are Canadians planning for holiday entertaining?
  • Have third-party marketplace sellers been impacted?

I hope you find the study results insightful for your business. For more information, or if you have questions regarding the study, please reach out directly to me.

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