12 Reasons to Give the Gift of Local This Holiday Season


Local First Toronto brings us 12 Reasons to Give the Gift of Local This Holiday Season:

  • Small & Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) employ 64% of private sector workers in Canada, creating 6.7 million jobs.
  • SMEs account for 45% of Canada’s GDP.
  • An estimated 18.1 billion dollars of GDP is generated by small businesses in Toronto with under 10 employees.
  • Higher return from independent businesses: Studies in cities across the US have consistently affirmed that independent storefront businesses generate greater local economic activity, based on both revenue and shop size, than do their chain competitors.
  • Economic impact studies from cities across North America show that there is 16–50% greater local economic return when money is spent at local businesses than when the same money is spent at chain stores.
  • Shopping at local independent businesses keeps a much larger share of your money circulating and working for the local economy, supporting a variety of other businesses and jobs. This is because independent businesses spend more than chain stores on local labour, goods bought locally for resale, and services from local providers.
  • After affordability, residents rank ease of walking, easy access to work by transit, closeness to shops & services, and closeness to a range of food stores as the top factors considered in choosing where to live.
  • Independent business districts increase home value: The American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index research study found that residential neighbourhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50% more in home values than their citywide markets in a 14 year period.
  • More space for local business will improve health: Toronto Public Health (TPH) recommends that space for commercial business activity in tower neighbourhoods will provide income opportunities, and improve access to goods and healthy food.
  • 74% of Toronto residents surveyed expressed a strong preference for a highly walkable neighbourhood over an auto-oriented neighbourhood.
  • Local businesses are linked to increased social capital and social cohesion: TPH suggests that increasing space for commercial activity in tower neighbourhoods will result in greater social cohesion in a community. Such activity includes commercial space for goods and services within tower apartments, and outdoor space for markets.
  • When people can walk to shop they are healthier: TPH has identified that increased walkability in neighbourhoods through “greater land-use mix, residential density, and street connectivity” will promote physical activity and prevent obesity.

Cheaper, sometimes closer big box and chain businesses seem like a convenient bargain in the short term.

But in the long run, buying from people who live and work nearby has a greater pay-off, benefiting our health, the vibrancy of our communities, and the resiliency of our economy.

So why not give the gift that gives back this holiday season? Support a local business.

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