Without a doubt the number of people who do not shop online is steadily, precipitously shrinking.
According to the Financial Post, “Canadian e-commerce sales were $19.2 billion in 2016, with about 60 per cent of the purchases made from domestic retailers and 40 per cent from foreign retailers.”
With the simple push of a button we can purchase virtually anything, from the everyday to one-of-a-kind exotica. All from anywhere in the world. They are largely private transactions that offer a perceived saving or value over buying closer to home.
But do they?
The internet is many things, some good, some not so good. One of the things the internet is not good at is building and sustaining vibrant communities. To publicly traded social media companies, and national and international online retailers, we are just another number up-ticking their financial statements. They care little, or at all, about our communities or investing locally in our schools, hospitals, culture and infrastructure. They don’t pursue employing us – our spouses, children, neighbours and friends. They also don’t go the extra mile to ensure what you buy is right for you.
They just want a click and a credit card number.
Our local retailers are different. They support our town with their sponsorship of minor hockey, ringette, soccer or any number of athletic and community events. They give very generously to myriad fundraising efforts and community initiatives. They stand beside us, in good times and bad.
Too often we assume products are not available locally, without even asking. It’s a wrong assumption. There is virtually nothing that cannot be sourced from a local business.
As your community newspaper, we are proud of our 112 years of bringing your local businesses together with you their local consumers. And we want to celebrate this relationship with our Proud Advertiser campaign that will recognize those local businesses that use our papers week in and week out to connect with you.
When you see the Proud Advertiser decal at participating businesses, you will know it is a business that holds you and our town a priority. They sell everything from micro-brewed beer to bungie cords, trucks to trees and cellphones to dog bones. If you don’t see it stocked at your favourite merchant, all you have to do is ask a real person – you probably already know them and they you – and benefit from a face-to-face conversation to determine the perfect product for you.
More than likely you will leave with exactly what you need and will also have caught up with an old acquaintance, or one of their kids.
We are all in this together. The paper, local business and you, the consumer.
When you support local businesses you are saying ‘I matter, my community matters and telling the stories that make this such a vibrant place to live, work and do business in, matters.’
Explore the truly limitless possibilities that shopping local offers you.
Please look for the Proud Advertiser logo and the next time you feel the urge to click, visit your local retailer instead.
Grant Harris, Publisher