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by Karen Grant

As a member of the selection committee for the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards (BEA), I was reminded once again how many great businesses we have in our community. With several nominations in each category, the committee reviewed and scored the submissions, selected the finalists then conducted one-on-one interviews, resulting in the winner in each category. Congratulations to everyone who were honoured at the event on October 3rd and thank you to the sponsors who support the BEA.

We have many great community businesses who rely on local support to thrive and prosper. Even the smallest of business requires local support. If we want Fredericton to continue to be a vibrant city with a strong economy, our businesses must be prosperous. That means that we, as a community, must support them. Businesses support the community by providing employment, donations to and volunteer with many groups and non-profits, and of course, they pay taxes.

Which leads me to question – why do so many people choose to shop online or in other communities rather than support our own businesses? Sure, it’s easy to sit at your computer and order online – everything from stationery to clothing to furniture to electronics and so much more. It may be cheaper to shop online, however, choosing to shop online hurts our local economy. Businesses are forced to close their doors if they don’t have the revenue to support the overhead.

Business closures have a ripple effect.

  • First, employees lose their jobs – which affects their overall spending.
  • The loss in tax revenue for all levels of government affects all taxpayers with increased taxation.
  • Non-profits and community groups who rely on donations from local business are affected.

So, next time that you hear that a business has closed, consider this: did you do all you could do to support that business?

Please, before you click “add to cart”, think about shopping in our vibrant city. This is especially important in the upcoming holiday season. If you are looking at an item online that appears cheaper than local, give that local business an opportunity to at least match the pricing. It may surprise you.

Wishing you a happy holiday season and all the best for 2020.

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