As the holiday season approaches, there is an important question that must be asked -where should shopping for holiday gifts be done?
Time and money are limited for many, so heading down to the nearest mall and grabbing items from big businesses crowded conveniently together and selling cheap products might be an attractive option. But is it really what’s best?
Nadine Lloyd, Jolica Consultant, usually buys gifts from small businesses.
Lloyd also likes to keep an eye out for fair trade items which usually can’t be found in big box stores.
Supporting small businesses not only results in more ethical, and special, gifts – it’s better for the economy too. Sustainable Connections has a list of benefits of small businesses, including that more jobs are produced and more money stays within the community instead of going to the owners of a big business who may not even live (or spend money) in the country.
A study done by the new economics foundation in Northcumberland showed that local suppliers spent about 76 per cent of their earnings in the community, while suppliers located outside the region spent only about 36 per cent.
When you buy fair trade, your money is going to small businesses in Canada and in other countries. Lloyd says that Canadians have many benefits, such as health care, and because of this should give a hand to people in other countries who are not so fortunate by purchasing fair trade gifts.
So before hitting the stores this holiday season take a few minutes to really think about which stores money should be going to.