“These are establishments that are often the character of a neighborhood, a community. The relationships created between customers and those that work in independent business frequently go beyond just purchases — it becomes familial”

– Rembert Browne, culture critic at large, New York Magazine, via Forbes

The holiday season is officially upon us. Already we can hear small businesses singing, “All I Want for Christmas is You” growing louder and louder as we get closer to one of the busiest seasons for retailers. “But who are they singing to,” you may wonder. You, dear consumer. They are singing to you.

Being in a community that allows for small businesses to thrive is an advantage more people should embrace. Of course, the big box and chain stores meet all your shopping needs in one fell swoop, those decorations and gifts tend to be carbon copies.

So, the question arises: If you could provide gifts and wares that are unique and locally made, would you?

Let us share some cold hard facts. Adding to the “buy local” mentality directly affects the local economy. In fact, 48 per cent of purchases at local independent businesses show a higher percentage of recirculating revenue locally. At the same time, 42 per cent generously donate up to a thousand dollars to charity and do so regularly. Folks, it is right here – jobs, charity, and overall wealth is being put back into your town!

Or how about the simple fact that opening a small business is always a risk. Yup, about half of small businesses survive at least 5 years.

So, Why drive by the local farmers market on your way to a chain grocery store? Or past the local boutique on your way to the mall?

Windsor may not be your typical ‘snow globe’ small town, but it isn’t as big as Toronto either. Here, in this border town, our Rose City, we have the unique opportunity to live in a place where the big guy and the little guy can live in harmony.

Let’s share the wealth this holiday season.