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OUR VIEW: Putting your money where your heart is

No better way to keep a community strong, than shopping local
Pitt Meadows’ Osprey Village offers a number of quaint, locally owned shops that would all greatly benefit from local support during COVID. (The News files)

As many wise people have already shared with you in the Locally Owned special feature in this week’s edition of The News, there are few things more critical to helping this community survive the pandemic than putting your money where your heart is.

Shopping local in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows means you’re supporting your friends and neighbours, and at the same time investing in your hometown – helping create a stronger and healthier community that can weather all that COVID is throwing at us.

Both of our communities are still made up primarily of locally owned and operated businesses – something that can’t be said for communities to the west of us.

RELATED: Chamber joins ‘Show Local Some Love’ national movement

Even the chain stores that are here are employing primarily local people who depend on these jobs for their livelihood.

It’s those local shops that will also reinvest much of their revenue back into the community – not just in the form of wages, but by sourcing most of the products and services they need from other locally owned and operated suppliers.

It doesn’t end there, either. These local business owners not only purchase locally and employ locals, they also give back in other ways – I find they’re always the first to support our local charities, events, and teams.

Just more reason to help keep this community’s businesses healthy and vibrant.

It’s not difficult to do your part. It might just take a change of thinking.

When you’re hunting for a product or service, stop for a moment, and instead of ordering online, think about where you can turn locally to find it.

This might mean using that smartphone to source out a local store, shop, or eatery. But honestly, I’ve never regretted doing it.

And, while it might take a little extra time and energy initially to get in the habit of doing more local shopping, if you do it often enough, it will become second nature.

I like a sentiment I read recently about the pros of shopping local. The person said – paraphrasing, of course – shopping local doesn’t mean walling off the outside world. It simply means nurturing locally owned businesses wherever possible.

I’m going to throw out just one simple example of how you can help.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to keep working through COVID or maybe you can spare a little extra cash right now - how about doing your Christmas shopping early?

Say what?

Literally draft your shopping list and hit the shops – adhering to masks and social distancing regs, of course.

The infusion of cash now, while so many companies are struggling to recover from the lockdown, will go a long ways to helping.

And, it’s not like you’re handing them a donation. You’re giving them a leg up, not a hand out.

If you aren’t sure what to buy that special someone for Christmas yet, then consider buying a gift card. Sure, it’s less personal, but it will mean a lot to the receiving business.

Just throwing it out there.

Shopping local really can serve as a stimulus to our economy, and you’ll met some incredible people – most who strive to offer personalized, customer service.

- R.H.


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Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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