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Many Reasons to Shop Local in Burlington
Posted: Sep 4, 2018

There are many reasons to shop local in Burlington

Shopping locally offers residents a chance to give back.

via The Burlington Post & The Hamilton Spectator. Original article found here.

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Whether it’s a random vinyl record, a local author’s book, or the latest kitchen gadgets you’re shopping for — you can find it locally.

Shopping locally offers Burlington residents a chance to give back and promote locally-owned and operated business.

Shop local is a lot more than a decal in the window.

Shopping within your community helps boost the local economy because more money stays here. Thriving local businesses are the sign of a healthy city.

It’s also an ethical decision, as Burlington Downtown Business Association executive director Brian Dean explains.

“There’s a million reasons to shop locally,” he said. “In the specific downtown we have 430 small businesses and most are, in fact, independent.

“Maybe the single most important point for the shop local ethos is that the local business are more invested in the welfare and future of our community. They are oftentimes your neighbours, and they employ your sons and daughters and your aunts and uncles.”

He said local business creates character and prosperity.

“The character of our community is defined by the businesses that choose to locate here,” he said, noting that Burlington businesses have helped to shape the city’s identity, whether it’s culture, food or art. Local mom-and-pop stores have a vested interest in keeping that identity alive and well.

In addition, these businesses help support local events, the hospital, sport teams and charities.

One longtime Burlington business owner believes shopping locally means better service for customers that they simply can’t find in a big-box store.

Doug Smith, the owner of Vac Connection on Fairview Street said his vacuum store is celebrating 20 years in September and he’s been able to maintain a strong local clientele over that time. The key? Personal, reliable and friendly service.

“Service and reputation is the No. 1 key — treat customers the way you want to be treated,” he said.

He said shopping locally is important because customers get good advice.

“You get expert advice from individuals who have been in the business and know the products,” he said. “You’re going to get the best advice on the product, and you’ll be able to service the product down the road.

“We find that providing that for a customer has paid dividends. We take the products right to their car. It’s like the old days when you’d go grocery shopping and they’d carry the bags to your car.

“Greet them with a smile, acknowledge them and they can talk to an expert,” he said, noting he’s had many repeat customers over the years because of that.

And certainly that’s not possible with an online purchase.

Not only that, but buying remotely creates little to no local benefit — other than a minute or two of work for a local delivery person, who may or may not even ring the doorbell.

Shopping local benefits the community because much of the spending done by a business is also local — the money stays in the city.

And, as Smith says, you get to know customers and build relationships.

Think of the friends you’ve made through local business owners.

For example — the local baker sees you every week, when you purchase your dozen buns. Then he offers you a cookie, or a baker’s dozen.

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