It is nearing the busiest shopping season of the year. However, residents in the southeast are being asked to think locally before heading out to get their purchases.  

"It is really important to shop local so that the local economy can grow and can really thrive," explained Jackie Wall, Executive Director for the Estevan Chamber of Commerce. "Shopping local supports local jobs which in turn supports local schools, local hospitals, other local businesses. Every dollar that is put in the economy locally, has a multiplier effect."

"People also need to realize that local businesses give a lot back to communities whether it is through prizes for different tournaments, whether it's donations to different charities, whether it's just providing services. For example, when we had our local flooding, a lot of the local businesses to help people, to help with the clean up and put in there time and effort."

"So local businesses really support the local community and that's extremely important."

Wall adds that prices may be lower in other communities, but it may not be worth the time and effort put in. 

"If you're driving let's say, two or three hours to do some shopping, and that is the main purpose of your excursion, you have to factor in your time, you have to factor in your fuel, you have to factor in the wear and tear on your vehicle. So if you think you're going to save a little bit of money somewhere else, you really have to take a look at those factors as well. Is it really worth all the extra time and effort and energy and the expense of traveling somewhere else to do your shopping?"

She also explained that businesses have to disclose if they are having an upcoming sale so if you do see something you want to buy, you can ask the store if it may be going on sale soon. She also lists a few other benefits of shopping near your home. 

"The customer service is better and what if you buy something that doesn't fit? Or what if you buy something that has a manufacturers defect? You can go right back to that business and make an exchange. You get that better customer service and you have access to a quick return. When you're shopping online, that's definitely not the case, if it doesn't work, if it doesn't fit, you have to ship it back and there's a lot of time involved as far as waiting for it to come in and of course, if there is a return, sending it back."

"In some ways, a lot of people think online shopping is convenient, and perhaps sometimes it is, but sometimes it's a real hassle as well."

"I would really encourage people to think local first. That's always a great way to do your purchasing. Do your research, think local first, and then go from there. It really does support the whole community, the community organizations, the community charities, the school programs and you just don't get that when you're shopping outside of the community."


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