Opinion

Editorial — Shopping in Langley has many benefits

It’s one week before Christmas Day, and even though many people are well-organized, plenty of others are still doing Christmas shopping.

Some Canadians are choosing to shop across the border this year, drawn in by a wide selection, competitive prices and a Canadian dollar that is near par.

They have every right to do so, but it’s worth once again stating the advantages of shopping locally. Those advantages include some that may not always be top of mind.

Why does it make any difference where you shop?

While most of us simply think of price, or perhaps price combined with service when we shop, there are other factors that are worth considering.

Angie Quaale, president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, says that every dollar spent locally translates to at least $5 of further economic activity. That’s because dollars spent with a local retailer are passed on to employees, governments, suppliers and non-profits.

Local businesses have employees who live locally. They pay their employees for their labour. Their employees in turn spend money at other businesses, helping to employ other local people. They give donations to local charities, and pay for services supplied by local companies.

Governments at all levels benefit tremendously from a healthy business community. We all pay sales taxes on most of our purchases. Businesses and their employees pay income taxes. Without these two fundamental taxes, governments could not provide the services that we need, such as health care and education.

Suppliers also benefit enormously from the money we spend at local businesses. Many other businesses supply goods and services to retail businesses, from photocopy machines and telephone service to inventories of all kinds. Trucking firms are reliant on deliveries to businesses, and in many cases back to their retail customers.

All these suppliers have employees of their own, who in turn spend money locally. Together, they all keep the economy moving.

That’s worth thinking about as you do your last-minute Christmas shopping this year, and all throughout the year. Shopping locally brings many  benefits, and some of them aren’t alway obvious.

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