This was intended to be a quick note to remind everyone to support their local business community when doling out the bucks for Christmas cheer.  There are many excellent writers and thinkers on the issue, all of whom point out that supporting local business puts money back into the taxes and infrastructure of your home base and makes life better for everyone.

A local source, puts the numbers to the concept.

  • Local retailers re-circulate 45% compared to 17% for chains
  • Local restaurants re-circulate 65% compared to 30% for chains
  • Local suppliers (ex. office supplies) re-circulate 33% compared to 19% for chains

Today, however, I have another reason to promote local buying, based on the events of yesterday afternoon.

I was flush with success, having purchased a variety of local artwork, local business gift cards, clothing and decorations from local retailers and, of course, the week’s groceries including some very nice items to serve to guests.  And I did it all without having to get into fisticuffs over parking.  So delighted was I in how easy and satisfying it is to shop locally (compared to the insanity of urban shopping centres) that I took a moment to snap a photo of my shopping cart, thinking to post a quick FB exhortation.

In just 5 minutes I was home (imagine that!) and unloading the car before heading out again to the credit union.  As I arrived in their parking lot I discovered that my wallet, which contained not only all my credit cards, ID, recently purchased gift cards plus cash, was gone.  The last place I saw it was in the photo I took of the shopping cart, with wallet perched jauntily on top.  I searched the car, certain that it had slipped under the seats but quickly came to the realization that it was good and truly gone.  I rushed back to the SuperValu, five minutes away, and checked the parking lot where all the carts had been collected and taken back inside.

No wallet.

Frantic now, I approached the checkout lady I had just chatted with and told her that I’d left my wallet in the cart in the lot and it was nowhere to be found.  She quickly called over Dusty who had just come in from stacking carts and he took me to the office where, he said, he’d turned in a wallet he found in the back lot.  The store owner had already looked through my wallet for a phone number and even went so far as to send a copy of my driver’s licence to a friend at the credit union branch down the street, asking if she knew me and could find my phone number.

The moral of the story is, not only does shopping local give back to the community, you are much more likely to encounter people who will honestly turn your fat wallet in, rather than strip it and leave it in the dumpster.  I can’t imagine my chances of getting it back had I done the same thoughtless thing at Park Royal or MetroTown.

So this holiday season, shop local because if you are an idiot, you will be forgiven and kind, honest people will take care of you.