It's the spin-off effect

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March 3, 2016 11:09 AM

It’s called the “spin-off” effect.
When it comes to keeping dollars within the city, Dawn Hames, chairperson for Streetscapes, said that’s what it’s all about.
The effect causes money spent in a community to recirculate multiple times in the same community, thus benefiting the local economy in ways it wouldn’t if spent at a big box store.
“This effect increases exponentially when the shopping is done at locally owned businesses,” said Hames.
“Local business support local sports and charities with countless donations of cash, silent auction items, door prizes as well as by volunteering their time.”
Small business is big business, said Hames, explaining that over half the people in Canada are employed by independent stores, shops and the like.
Many local shops in cities across the country have hard competition with larger foreign owned chains, and what many people might not realize is that if they don’t support their locally owned businesses, the places will disappear.
Hames said there is also a difference between “shopping local” and “shopping locally owned” and Serena Sjodin, acting executive director for the Chamber of Commerce, agrees.
“I think it’s important to shop local but in the sense of shopping at Lloydminster businesses. I think it’s businesses in Lloydminster that we need to be supporting,” she said.
“And there are so many reasons why to support Lloydminster businesses and in times like these it’s best to support your neighbour.”
By shopping at businesses owned by fellow community members, Sjodin said you’re helping put food on their family’s plates and perhaps sending their kids to dance lessons, because money spent in town stays in town.
She said the chamber ran a campaign two or three years ago called Think Lloyd First, a project for promoting shopping within the Border City, which came up with various reasons to support community businesses.
One statistic that was put out during Think Lloyd First was that every dollar spent in town recirculates approximately three more times before leaving the community.
“Where as money spent outside the community is gone forever,” said Sjodin.
But as with many situations, shopping locally needs to be a two-way street and independent businesses have to find incentives and ways to entice buyers to spend at their shops.
Foreign owned bigger box stores tend to have more advertising dollars than the mom-and-pop shops, often with franchise backing.
This can be hard to compete with so Sjodin recommends shop owners get creative.
“Local businesses have the advantage when it comes to advertising because you can be that local face,” she said.
“So advertising and getting your business known can be things like going to our chamber mixers and getting to know others in the business community.”
She also suggests working with neighbouring businesses and trying things like cluster marketing.
An example she gives is a restaurant partnering with a community florist to create date night packages.
“There are lots of creative ways that smaller businesses can work together to get their name out there and they can possibly share advertising costs.”
Sjodin also recommends affordable advertising mediums like social media.
She said for those unfamiliar with social media there are courses on it in town, which will help people learn about the advertising power of websites like Facebook and Twitter.

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