For the love of buying local

As snow starts to dust our rooftops, thoughts of shopping for the holidays are like subtle sugar plum fairies dancing in my head. The pandemic accelerated our rate of online shopping this year, and that trend will likely continue, but take a minute to consider what happens if we don’t support local.

Also think about what will occur if we lose other local things, like our news sources.

Recently, I’ve been sprucing up the house, since there was no big summer vacation this year. I hired local contractors, and bought from local DIY stores whenever possible. I found that buying building supplies from Nepsco saved me 50 per cent over the box stores for items like my kitchen LED pot lights. Local warranties on products is another advantage. I also bought beautiful light fixtures from Lyon’s and deck supplies from Soo Mill.

Seems like pandemic nesting is also a trend. I’m working on my home’s coziness factor and have been shopping for living room furniture. I made the choice up front to buy Canadian-made products. Because I wanted recliners, that left me with two main brands, one available at Mio’s and one at Storey Home Furniture. I will happily choose to support either retailer, because they are community institutions, and I feel like family when I deal with them.

I was also shopping for a coffee table, and I wanted solid wood, as my IKEA veneer days are behind me. A few Google searches later, and I found solid wood tables that looked decent, but were all imported. A call to Sam at Storey, and they told me about Handstone, a Canadian manufacturer of custom-made, solid wood furniture, built by Mennonites. For a couple hundred dollars more, I proudly ordered a beautiful piece, with a 10-year warranty.

Anytime I can buy something that is built to last, I will spend the extra money. I don’t want anything else to have to go to the landfill prematurely. I’d rather buy a $300 purse that I’ll keep for 10 years instead of a new purse per year that will be tossed as fast-fashion with torn seams or worn materials.

How else can we support local? Even if you don’t want to eat out, you can order take-out once a week to keep our restaurants going. Arturo’s and The Breakfast Pig have been getting my food dollars lately.

How about new skis or sports gear this year from Velorution, or Algoma Bicycle Company, or the Duke?

Need a new pair of shoes? Visit Feet First and Tootsies at the Station Mall where I got my Blundstones and Doc Martens. Again, buying quality over quantity and supporting local stores was my plan. While not a Canadian retailer, Eddie Bauer has a lifetime guarantee on their clothing, so I bought a jacket there. There are lots of deals to be had in most stores right now and lots of jobs to be saved.

Take a look at our mall. Sears is gone, Walmart is gone, David’s Tea is gone, Le Chateau is closing. (If Laura Secord isn’t on the way out, why are they displaying Easter bunnies?) Your wallet has the power to stop the bloodletting.

The same can be said of our media. We all but lost CTV here, leaving us with two online sources and one print/online media outlet. I’m biased here, but a subscription to the local paper is a vote for local balanced coverage, for jobs, and for uncensored news.

Before it is too late, please support local.

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