The holidays are right around the corner, meaning you’ll soon be looking to cross off some items on your Christmas lists. What better way to do that than by shopping locally? Shopping within the Muskoka region helps you avoid the inevitable holiday season hustle and bustle of the big city so you can stay right where you’re comfortable.
This is an especially important year for shopping locally – business owners are still reeling from the effects of last winter’s devastating province-wide lockdown, making this the very first holiday season since their businesses were forced to shut down.
This holiday season, consider shopping locally to show these pillars of the community that you’re fully behind them, and that you value their offerings more than the big box stores or online marketplaces which have become too big to fail. Without support from the community, this could very well be the final holiday season for small businesses around the Muskoka region.
The importance of shopping local this year
While things seem to be on the right track now, they were far, far more bleak at the beginning of the year. The 2020 holiday season was a very different one, filled with plenty of fear and uncertainty about the future. Businesses were limited on how many patrons they could have indoors, were subject to ever-changing levels of restrictions, and were about to be hit by the crippling post-holiday lockdown.
These factors severely affected businesses all around the Muskoka area, turning what is usually a joyous and prosperous season into something far darker. This is exactly why it’s so important for local businesses to feel your love this year – giving your business to big box chains and online conglomerates could spell disaster for your favourite local haunts.
The benefits of shopping locally
By choosing to shop local, you can help to ensure that these businesses will be around well into the future, generating growth within your community and the Muskoka region at large. Purchasing gifts and other items from local businesses keeps your money within the local economy, creating jobs for your fellow Muskokans, allowing businesses to expand and improve, improving the area’s standing as a tourism destination, and even inspiring others to launch businesses of their own.
Not only is it great for the community, but shopping locally lets you find far more creative and unique gifts than you could ever hope to find in a big box chain. Browsing a storefront you’ve always wanted to check out but have never quite made the time to do so can lead you to finding the perfect gift for that special somebody. Maybe it’s handcrafted or artisan made, maybe it’s been produced locally using materials sourced directly from the area, or maybe it’s just a niche item you never even thought existed. When you choose local, you’ll soon find that your gift giving game can be taken up a notch.
Myths about shopping locally
Despite many people advocating for shopping locally all year long, there are many misconceptions about shopping within your community that continue to halt the progress of the shop local movement. The most damaging myth about shopping locally is that it’s more expensive. There are, of course, select storefronts which cater to those in search of higher ticket items, but for the most part shopping locally isn’t any more expensive than the alternatives.
Purchasing handmade or artisan gifts from stores in the Muskoka region won’t be any more expensive than doing so in a bigger city or seeking out a specialized marketplace online. Even if you discover that the price of that perfect gift is slightly higher here at home than it is in the city, when you consider how much heart and soul went into the items you’re buying and that every dollar you spend stays within the community, it’s easy to justify a marginally higher price.
A lack of selection is often pointed to as a flaw of shopping locally, too. Despite the beliefs of many, variety can absolutely be found at local businesses. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, a small business owner is far more likely to work with you to special order items or work with local craftsmen and artisans to create the perfect gift made to your exact specifications. If it means creating a new loyal customer, local business owners will be far more willing to make the time to work with you than anybody in a big box store or online storefront.
This holiday season, reconsider how you want to spend your money – out with the big box stores and faceless online conglomerates and in with the local businesses that do so much for the Muskoka region. Get out of your comfort zone and explore the many local businesses all around you that need your help. You’ll quickly find that the myths of shopping locally are all wrong and that you’ll be able to pick out the perfect gift for the special people in your life.
Check out some of the great holiday shopping opportunities in the Muskoka region:
Muskoka Window & Door Centre is the Muskoka region’s preferred provider of high quality window and door products. Our showroom is home to some of the biggest and best names in the door and window industry, and our talented team can help you find exactly what you need to make your home more energy efficient and stand out from the crowd. To find out more about the products and services available through Muskoka Window & Door Centre, get in touch with us today.