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15 reasons to shop local on Black Friday, according to Surrey Board of Trade

“By buying local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbours,’ among other reasons, SBOT says
Volunteers wrap gifts for shoppers. (File photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Surrey Board of Trade wants shoppers to know the benefits of keeping it local on so-called “Black Friday,” and also during the coming holiday season.

“Shopping local helps create jobs, and contributes to investments in public infrastructure, and into the community,” said Anita Huberman, president and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“That means by buying local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbours, contribute to improved public infrastructure, and invest in your community both socially and economically.”

Through the past three years, the Surrey Board of Trade has created campaigns to encourage shopping local, including Surrey Strong and Thank You Surrey.

SBOT offers the follow 15 reasons why consumers should shop local:

1. Keeps Money Local: Money generated through local businesses, their taxes, fund our communities and provide vital services such as police and fire protection, street repairs and trash collection. Independent businesses recirculate up to 63% of their revenue back into the local economy compared to the 14% multinationals recirculate. They spend up to 31.4% of their revenue on BC products and services.

2. Local Responsibility: Local businesses work harder to stay open. Local ownership means that important decisions are made by people who live in our community and feel the impact of those decisions.

3. Create Jobs: Independent businesses create up to 8.4 times more jobs per feet squared.

4. Locally-Made Products: Local business owners often sell local products, which helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more jobs locally.

5. Support for Not-for-Profit Organizations: Local businesses are more likely to support the good work that supports our community. Independent businesses donate up to 24 times more per dollar of revenue to local charities.

6. Discover Interesting Things and People: One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are part of what makes Surrey a great place to live, learn, work and play.

7. Personal Connection: Getting to know the store owners is a great reason to shop local. It’s their business, they are the decision-makers and they build a personal relationship with their customers.

8. Product Knowledge: Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling. Local shop owners have to be experts in their field to compete. Use them—ask them questions and get advice about products.

9. Diverse Products: Local stores carry inventory you might not find at national chain stores. Local business owners choose products based on what their customers want and often carry unique items from local artists and farmers.

10. Better Experience: Local shopping can translate to more convenient retail experiences.

11. Create Community: We are a transitory society so people don’t always have a connection with the communities where they live. Encourage people new to an area to ask the locals where they shop.

12. Better Service: Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers.

13. Support Future Growth: Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in Surrey and help protect the businesses that make Surrey unique.

14. Less Waiting: Shopping locally means you get your products right away. You don’t have to worry about the shipping delays that plaque this time of year.

15. Environmentally Friendly: Locally grown or made product results in a greenhouse gas reduction benefit of between 5% and 66% compared to imported products.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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