It’s tempting, we know. Drive out to a big, one stop shop, and get a load of Christmas shopping done all at once. One card swipe, and get in the car for home. Why would you bother with anything else?
Well, for a start, do you really want to live in a town or a county where only the big boys are open, and most of them are not Irish owned? When your kids, grandkids or even the neighbour’s kids grow up, do you want them to have the limited options of working for a large, foreign chain retail store, or moving away to find a job? Do you want to put your entrepreneurial friends, neighbours, and community members out of business?
None of that sounds nice, to be honest, but let’s look instead at a few positive reasons to spend your euros in your local shops this holiday season. The tiny coffee shop on the corner. The trendy boutique down the street. The quaint antique shop on the other side of town. In communities all across the country, small businesses are quietly driving our nation. Obviously, we’re biased here, but this holds true in any town or county, in any part of the world in fact, so it’s definitely relevant in our region too!
Your Euros Stay in the Local Economy
When you shop locally, approximately 65 cents out of every euro ends up staying right in your community. Small business owners generally live in the same community their business is located in, as do the majority of their employees. This means that they are also spending their money in the community as well, especially as they’re so attuned to the benefits that brings. When you shop at local businesses, you help to create a cash flow cycle that stays right in the community rather than flowing out of it. Some of that money will eventually end up back in your pocket, or the family budget!
It’s Better for the Environment
Shopping locally reduces the amount of carbon emissions made, and makes for a healthier environment. When you shop in your own town, businesses don’t have to ship products which reduces fuel consumption, and it creates less traffic and air pollution in general because local businesses generally consume less land than big enterprise centres, and are located within walking, biking or public transport distance of their customers.
You Get Unique Gifts, and a Personal Experience
Christmas can be so stressful! In a large chain store, employees are often so overwhelmed that it is difficult to get any service or assistance, not to mention often having to wait in long lines just to pay. Local shops are usually less crowded, which means you are far more likely to still get personal service, with professional advice and support as you shop. There’s a cosy atmosphere, warm and welcoming, and you’ll be able to make a personal connection if you want to.
Isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?