The Importance of Buying Local

What does this statement mean? What is in it for you to get behind a 'Buy Local' program?

We have all seen many of our local businesses layoff workers or close entirely, surrendering stable, good-paying jobs which are critical to Niagara's growth prospects. Young people coming out of school who are looking for a secure future in the region are being deprived of any opportunity to build a career and a life in this area and are forced to look elsewhere for those openings. If we continue to lose our young, local talent, what does the future in Niagara look like? Who is going to carry the burden of increasing tax assessments to fund our local infrastructure and other municipal services if more and more people choose to leave the area?

I'm sure you agree that by purchasing goods and services locally, you are doing your part to support Niagara's industry and helping create and maintain job opportunities for local residents.

In basic terms, you are helping keep those particular enterprises alive and as a result, those businesses continue to pay taxes and employ local residents. The local resident will also be paying municipal taxes and if they decide to support local enterprises, the circular process will continue, benefiting us all. If they go outside the community for the purchase of goods and services, this circle is interrupted and we all lose.

One of the more significant areas of potential lost dollars to local business is our government organizations like municipalities, school boards and hospitals. We continue to hear that they have a mandate as public organizations to tender their purchases to the lowest bidder.

This brings up an important question - does best price equate to best value?

These organizations are spending taxpayer dollars and as such, their mandate should be to ensure that the taxpayer is getting the best value for their tax dollar. Weighing all of the side benefits that locals provide to the community, it's pretty clear that buying locally and keeping the circular process intact is the best option.

The next time you are looking to spend money, give your local guy a chance of winning your business. You will be doing your part in keeping the Niagara economy strong and vibrant.