With the announcement of the Thinking Local First rewards program launching this week, we thought it would be good to look at just what it means to “think local.”
While this initiative, along with the Ten Per Cent Shift initiative, asks people to consider changing their shopping habits to support local business – even going so far as to provide rewards for doing so – it shouldn’t be just about economics.
Sure, when you spend your hard-earned dollars at locally owned and operated retailers and businesses, more of that money stays within the community.
But it’s more than that.
We’re hoping people who are participating in these programs and supporting these initiatives take “thinking local” one step further.
Thinking local means having consideration for your neighbours.
It means recognizing that your actions have an impact on those around you.
Whether that’s doing more of your purchasing and hiring of services from a local provider, or simply not dropping that empty candy wrapper on the sidewalk, thinking local is about doing what’s best for your own community, and considering that before thinking about what’s best for yourself.
A rising tide raises all ships, after all.
Now, no one is saying we should all stop shopping at big box stores or banking at huge national banking chains. These businesses have their place within our communities, as well. They employ thousands – if not tens of thousands – of people on the West Shore alone, and few would say that’s a bad thing for a community.
We’re just hoping that people take the opportunity, a bit more often, to consider what effect their actions have on those around them, whether that’s where to purchase their next recliner or how loud they need their music to be at 10:30 p.m.
Because good neighbours make good communities.