Editorial – Shop local for the holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and so too is the holiday shopping season. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging around us, the holidays look and feel different. One thing that remains the same as every other year, we should all strive to shop local for the holidays.

Last week, The Leader published a four-page feature showcasing South Dundas businesses to help remind or inform readers what there is right here. It is important to support local businesses during the good times, it is more important to support them during the bad. And there is no mistaking which times we are in.

The shutdown this spring of many businesses during the first wave of the pandemic caused catastrophic damage to small business. According to Statistics Canada, small business saw revenues decline by 40 per cent or more since March. While there have been some support programs for business, not all qualify. This has made owning your own business in a community even more perilous than before the pandemic.

Many people have embraced online retail giants like Amazon and Walmart as a way of helping to do their part to be physically distant. While we support everyone doing their part during these times, remember that most of the businesses locally offer curb side pickup, and you don’t have to pay for shipping.

When we are back to a normal that includes activities for youth and community events, ask yourself this – will Amazon or Walmart sponsor your team? Would those multi-national corporations open their registers and donate a prize to your silent auction? The answer is no. It is the independent businesses in our community who support Canada Day and other events, sponsor sports teams, and donate to service clubs and local charities.

Frequently this paper’s readers have seen cheque presentation photos, donation photos, and other recognitions of community support. Even now in the midst of the pandemic, we still see the business community’s generosity shine through. It may be tough right now, but they still help out. And so should you.

Businesses in South Dundas deserve your support during these unprecedented times because they have supported South Dundas. Where ever it is possible this holiday season, please shop local. Consider what shipping would cost for an item if you order it online – or how much travel to a bigger city would cost – compared to buying it locally. Then remember what local business did for the community. It is worth it to shop locally.

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.