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Research shows people do buy local and believe that shopping local is important. As a small business owner, I can tell you that my store is my life and my clients are a part of my family. It isn’t unusual to come in and find a group of local residents standing around and chatting about their weekend or discussing the next fund raiser at their kids school or the most talked about Canadian event - the weather. As an independent local pet retail store, I not only want to provide your pet with the best products, but I want to know how your vacation to Barbados went, I want to follow up with you about your mother’s hip operation, and find out whether your daughter heard back from her college application. Nowadays there is this misconception that we are all connected through social media but at the same time we are lacking actual face to face interactions with other humans and your local shop can fill that void. Keep reading to find out why it’s important to support local and keep your community strong and connected.

  1. Investing in Community: Local businesses donate more per sales dollar to local events, non-profits, and fund raisers, compared to big chains. And local business owners support each other by shopping within the community. We care about the local school because chances are, our own kids attended the same school. We shop at the stores in town because we want them to succeed and create a healthy commercial core which in turn takes the tax burden off home owners. Shopping local helps us help ourselves.

  2. Better Selection For You: Believe it or not, small stores often provide a better selection for YOU and that’s because we get to know YOU personally, and we actually stock our shelves with YOU in mind. It’s not unusual that I will often discover a product that I know Henry the golden retriever (belonging to Mrs. Hunt) would love, so I buy it. Or Becky’s fussy kitty needs a new selection of turkey canned food to try so I’ll search my suppliers catalogs until I find a new product to bring in. I know I would never be able to make a 100,000 people happy, but I love trying to make my few hundred loyal clients super happy.

  3. Get Better Service: Small local businesses know you and you know them. We will go over and above what is expected in a retailer. Free delivery, curb side pickup, special orders, loyalty programs, personalized recommendations, no-hassle returns, exchanges, guarantees, and the list goes on and on. We care about the big picture and not about making a fast buck. We see each other at the local school play, the grocery store, and annual craft fairs, so the point is we’re neighbours and we want to hold our head high knowing that we are providing our town’s citizens with the best customer service and products.

  4. Shopping Local Shows You Care: When you support local, it shows that you have pride in your community and that you care. Your community is where you live, take the dog for a walk, perhaps your kids attend the school down the block, maybe your neighbor owns the shop. All of these aspects of our lives need to be supported in order for survival and prosperity. Again, the stronger the commercial core is in your town, the more tax burden it lifts off your shoulders, so it's a win-win. Plus your local store owner cares about the big picture, the long run, they didn't get into retail or the eatery business for the fast buck. They want to go the extra mile to satisfy their clientele because they are part of the community and that means you shop at the same grocery store, your kids attend daycamp together, your spouse's play golf together, you go to the same dentist.

  5. Helping the Environment: Shopping within your community means less gas is used to drive into the city. Who knows, perhaps you can even walk to your local shops. Also, a lot of local shops try and stock their shelves with local products which again saves on fuel consumption. It may cost less for a product to be made in China but what is the gain, the big picture impact? Trying to buy local and/or Canadian helps our country and the environment.

In conclusion, I will use my store as an example and say that even if you don't have a pet, come in, say Hi, and look around. You maybe able to help a new resident who moved in next door with a dog by telling them about PennyPetz. Follow us on social media and comment, like, and share our posts.These are all great ways to help a small shop, your community ,and share the love of keeping it local.

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