It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Miramichi; sun shining, birds chirping. I had been deciding how to spend my day when I remembered that I had been craving a cheese board for the better part of the week. I hopped into my car and went to the Water St Farmer's Market where I was met with a friendly face and every kind of cheese I could imagine; I then grabbed a freshly baked baguette at Napan Baykery. It dawned on me how just a few years ago Water St, had little activity; many stores were boarded up, the street was filled with nervous smokers, but on Saturday customers were hustling and bustling through the shops, chatting with friends and there was barely a parking place to be found.
As someone whose work is primarily done online, face to face interactions can sometimes be limited. It feels good to get out and support local, and here's why!
Putting the U back in Community
Not so long ago, you knew your butcher, the farmer the meat came from and all of their relatives. Supporting our local businesses forces us to get our heads out of our phones and interact with each other. You're more likely to run into an old friend on the street than in the drive through!
I can't count the times I've brought home strawberries from the grocery store only to find mould. Most local business owners know that if they sell an inferior product it is going to tarnish their personal reputation as well as that of their business, ensuring you have the best of the best!
Jobs Jobs Jobs
We all know Atlantic Canada is struggling (we especially know this at election time) and we all banter back and forth about there being "no jobs". Ask yourself, where did you buy your last roll of bread? The bakery or the grocery store? By supporting smaller suppliers we help to keep money & jobs in our community.
Not everyone is cut out for the 9-5 (I know this first hand!) by supporting your local business owners, you are also supporting them in doing something they are passionate about.
Looking for something at a big box store? Chances are the underpaid and over tired employee doesn't care one way or the other if you find it. Small business owners are typically in that business because they are passionate and knowledgable about what they are selling. By my regular shopping at The Sweet Soaperie, the owner has quickly become one of my pals and keeps me up to date on her new products (which are ten times better than anything store bought & last way longer!)
A major factor in pollution is from the transport. There is a much smaller carbon foot print in having your meat driven to the butcher than half way across the country (not to mention less preservatives). Smaller scale farms mean less impact on the soil, less use of heavy equipment and can even mean better treatment for the animals. You can be satisfied by knowing where your food is coming from and that the people harvesting it are paid a fair wage and have good working conditions.
Of course it is more convenient to pop into Walmart to grab the things you need, but every dollar you spend supporting local business helps! While you're out supporting local businesses, why not grab a snap shot to post on your social media? I'm sure they would love the boost!