Smiths Falls

Keeping it in the loop has never been so easy

Posted Nov 24, 2011 By Marla Shook

EMC Business - "Buy Local - Keep it in the Loop" is the slogan for the Shop Smiths Falls Campaign on right now.

Launched by the Smiths Falls Downtown Business Association last weekend during the Downtown Christmas Open House, shopping local is their vision for the consumers of the town.

And consumers have the chance to benefit from shopping in their downtown, a draw is being held for a minimum of $200 in gift certificates and prizes. Those interested may enter at any participating store, no purchase necessary. The draw will take place Dec. 20.

"We're keeping our neighbours in business," Vickie Dickson, owner of Vickie's Specialty Shop explained. "This is the future of our downtown. It is up to us to revitalize our downtown together - consumers and business owners."

The vision for the Buy Local campaign was that of Tina Hughes, coordinator for the DBA, Dickson explained. The "Keep it in the Loop" portion of the slogan, Dickson noted, represents "the domino effect" that shopping local can, and does have.

In a letter to the Record News Nov. 10, Lori Lawrence wrote, "As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply-produced goods merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour. This year could be different. This year Canadians could give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadian hands."

The campaign is focusing on the "birth of a new tradition" for Christmas 2011.

"Christmas should be about caring for each other, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine," Lawrence's writings detailed.

She made some suggestions on how to keep local dollars local.

"Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Canadian hair salon or barber? Gym membership? An appropriate gift for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement," she wrote. "Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate."

Suggesting gift certificates for oil changes, computer tune ups, for a meal at a restaurant, green fees at a local golf course, tickets to a local theatre production, purchasing locally made honey or locally made crafts and jewelry.

"This is about supporting your home town Canadians with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open," the letter reads. "Do we really need to buy outside our own country? Keep this in mind when you leave your country or your hometown to shop. Those stores you buy from don't sponsor your child's sports team or donate to your golf tournament you are organizing, nor do they donate to the hundreds of other fundraisers that your hometown businesses graciously donate to every year. Nor do they employ your child when they need that 'summer job' to save money for college. Nor are they your neighbour."

According to information provided by Dickson, Smiths Falls downtown offers over 150 businesses comprising 20 restaurants, over 40 retail stores, over 15 personal care/health services and over 75 professional services.

Locally owned businesses return roughly 80 per cent of each dollar spent back into their communities. They assist communities through a "multiplier effect" - just $1 spent locally returns five times "that amount within the community through employees' wages, and purchases of materials and supplies at other independent businesses."

And aside from those reasons, Dickson's information explains, buying local also aids in supporting the local economy, nurturing pride within the community, being environmentally conscious, sustaining local jobs, as well as strengthening local non-profits.

For more information, as it is available, on the campaign please read the EMC each week.

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