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Holiday shopping season is the perfect time to renew commitment to supporting local

Posted on December 8, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

With the holiday shopping deadline approaching, supporting local businesses, advertisers, and makers has significant impact on both the business community and the community more broadly.

René van de Vendel, president of Coaldale’s Chamber of Commerce, reiterated the importance of supporting local and the immense impact it has on the community, particularly this holiday season. President of Picture Butte’s Chamber of Commerce Eva Penner agreed: “I truly believe that when you shop local you’re making a personal investment in the community. This stimulates the economy in our community and benefits the environment.”

Although big box stores are notorious for pushing marketing for steep discounts, van de Vendel said supporting local provides other cost-saving advantages. Inflationary pressures have impacted all sectors and commodities, including fuel, not just the retail sector.

“There’s no denying that recent inflation has put pressure on certain — if not all — segments of business and buyers. To say that Coaldale is harder hit than other areas wouldn’t be right, but one could make the case that the more you shop local, the less the cost of driving elsewhere would be, with the high cost of vehicles and fuel, just to name one example,” he said.

Penner said the rising inflationary pressures over the past year have undoubtedly impacted consumers, but also local businesses. “We have definitely seen an increase in prices for groceries, clothing and household items but these businesses also need to maintain their profit margins,” she said, adding supply chain disruptions, increased overhead expenses, and higher employee wages are all factors in decreases in overall consumer spending. She noted, “The holiday season is a time to strengthen our community and come together to support our local shops.”

Van de Vendel also spoke about the significant impact supporting local has on the community at large. “It is extremely important to have our local businesses supported by our residents,” he said.

He added local businesses provide a stable employment network for residents, and “employ a lot of our own local people. In turn, you are helping residents make a living here and remain residents here, rather than relocating close to an employer out of town. Choosing to shop elsewhere will often result in shopping at big box stores. There is no way of telling where the proceeds of those stores go to, but often they don’t stay close by, in some cases, they even disappear to the USA.”

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