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By Doug Daley, Kiers Marketing

Buying local has become a hot topic, especially during the pandemic. Some folks are true to their community and do all their shopping locally. Many, like me, shop local when they can but also shop online for items that are unique, or if the price is just too good. Unfortunately, some folks do most of their shopping online. 

Think about your shopping habits and how it affects our local economy. For example, when you visit ANBL and buy Coors Light, Budweiser or any other mass-produced beer, does this really affect our local craft brewers? A local craft brewer employs between 5-20 people and does business with about 30 local companies. Some of the companies are medium size and some are small, but even if they average five employees each, that means the livelihood of close to 200 people depends, in part, to the brewery committing to buying local.  

Consider this: When buying produce at your local grocer, check where it’s from. If you have a choice between buying a bag of potatoes from New Brunswick or somewhere else, choose New Brunswick potatoes. If we all purchased our produce supplied from Chile, Mexico or South Africa, what would happen to the local farms in and around our local area? If the farmer cannot sell their produce, they will be forced to shut down the farm. This not only impacts the farm employees, but it also trickles down to affect the local farmers markets and all the other vendors who sell there – less selection equals less customers. Nobody wins.  

The trickle-down effect of not shopping local not only hurts the local brewer/farmer/business, but also all of their suppliers and employees.  

Think about this in terms of your business. How many local businesses buy from you? How many local businesses do you buy from? I think if you added it all up, you’d discover that it would be a substantial number of businesses and a large number of employees at those businesses. Are you doing your part to support our local businesses? 

Our family made a conscious effort to buy local this Christmas. I am happy to say that not one present was bought online. As a local business owner, I am aware of how important this is to a thriving economy. Sure, depending on the item, buying local can be a bit more expensive, but by buying local, you could be saving your next door neighbour’s job, without even knowing it. 

I have a family member who works at the local Costco. I know Costco is not considered a “local” business but think about the number of people they employ and the good wages they pay, and you’ll realize they are contributing to the local economy. When you walk around the store, you’ll see that they do sell local products as well as some well known New Brunswick brands like Covered Bridge Chips, Ganong, Crosby’s Molasses and much of their dairy is local. This is also the case in other big box stores.  

Shopping local includes shopping at independent retailers, farmers markets and big box stores. They all employ local people and contribute to the local economy.  

Please, buy local when you can. Everybody wins. 

Doug Daley is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Kiers Marketing. Kiers is a full service marketing agency that has been providing New Brunswick businesses with profit building marketing solutions for over 36 years.

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