Local merchants gathered yesterday at the Walterdale Playhouse for the kick off of Shop Local First Month. In theatrical, town crier style, Coun. Don Iveson read a proclamation from the city recognizing the importance of this initiative.
“We are so deeply defined by where we consume and what we consume that it is really important that this month is here,” said Iveson. “Because, this is really an exercise in place making. The citizens in particular and the business owners are the ones that do the real place-making at the end of the day.”
While ensuring that consumers have access to unique and diverse goods and services, local businesses have a significant economic benefit to the community. The founder of the Keep Edmonton Original initiative, Jessie Radies, explains this “multiplier effect.”
“It basically means when you spend a dollar in a local, independent business there is generally three times the economic impact compared to spending that same dollar in a chain, franchise business,” said Radies.
Local shoppers were also present to sample selections of fragrant teas and fresh canapes that were made in the community.
“We are actually trying to support more local businesses so that we when go and do our grocery shopping or to the cafes, we try to support independence. The money that we get we try to support independent business and try to get people invested in Edmonton, and staying here instead of moving away,” said Fraser Allen.