Shifting “Local”

It seems we’re seeing a shift in popularity lately to support local and buy local. The Ray Ivany report has tried to promote the idea of supporting our own communities and coming up with our own ideas to make our future brighter. There has been an increasing awareness that when we help each other we seem to do better.

In, New Ross, we’ve been promoting the “Shift 10%” potential. Quoting the Shift 10% campaign, “We all see the messages about supporting local businesses and local farmers-but perhaps you wonder what kind of difference it really makes, or what you can do.” Shifting 10% of your spending doesn’t cost more-it just takes a little effort. In fact, if you think about how you’re spending you’re money each time you open your wallet you may indeed spend less.

Nova Scotians spend $13 billion annually on food and consumer goods, shifting 10% of your consumption would mean $1.3 billion would flow back into local business & local farmers. Those businesses and farms are run by your friends, neighbours and families. Those businesses are also the ones that donate to local charitable organizations & sport teams because we live here too.

Buying local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.
Some important benefits are seen to shopping at local businesses:

  • a strong local economy
  • helping keep your neighbours businesses alive
  • more local jobs
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • local independents make significant donations to local nonprofits

Shift 10% can happen by making a lot of small choices. Buy:

  • a crisp Annapolis Valley apple instead of an imported one
  • a locally roasted coffee at a locally owned cafe instead of a chain
  • a pair of sneakers from the locally owned show store that sponsors the road race you’re taking part in
  • dining at a fabulous chef-owned restaurant that turn our wonderful farmers meat and vegetables into truly fantastic food

Teach your children that things are still made here, that food is still grown here and that community matters.