Why Buy Local Beyond the Weekend Market
Last month, I attended a Calgary Chamber event and was struck by what another business owner said about locally vs nationally-run businesses. Specifically, she spoke about buying local services, such as through a locally-owned and operated cab company versus a bigger national chain. This made so much sense to me that I immediately wanted to explore this idea further and answer:
What does “shopping local” mean for Calgary’s businesses and why is this important to Clean Club Calgary’s clients?
REFRAMING WHAT IS LOCAL
Typically, when we hear local, words like “market,” “produce,” and “artisan” pop to mind. But, what about local services and those entrepreneurs building service-based businesses, such as the local cab company? After all, locally-owned, service-based companies become as much the core of a community as the people, parks and pubs do.
When a service company “makes something local,” they’re making relationships on top of their service. With Clean Club Calgary, focusing on the relationships with our clients, the community, and our individual team members is what makes us a local business (that…and our business licence, of course). Supporting people is what we’re most proud of in addition to a sparkling clean for an enhanced quality of life.
Locally-owned and operated independent businesses contain a lot of heart and soul. It’s this heart and soul that makes real impact on the communities they serve. An example of this is that in using local cleaning services, you can now focus on growing your own small business rather than cleaning your office, or enjoy more time with your family rather than scrubbing the household’s main toilet.
Once we expand our idea of what “local” means, a number of benefits become clear.
LOCAL ALLOWS FOR FLEXIBILITY WITH THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY
Every community has individual needs. Large multi-national corporations, while they may provide good service, excellent prices, and service offerings up the wazoo, ultimately, are not as flexible to the specific needs of a community. Local businesses typically have the owner directly involved, able to listen and make real change to their company’s services based on your feedback.
In addition, should mistakes happen – because everyone is human – the owner is there, able to connect, support, and resolve challenges as they happen. More importantly, they are then able to implement change to ensure the same hiccups do not happen again. With less red tape and levels to go through, local businesses are able to more easily adapt based on direct communication.
SHOPPING LOCAL SEES MONEY REINVESTED BACK INTO THE LOCAL ECONOMY
When you hire a local service company, you are helping to stimulate the local economy. Studies have shown that when you buy from a locally-owned business versus a larger national chain, more of your money goes back to the local economy.
For instance, you allow the local business owner to pay her employees, who, in turn, put this money back into the local economy. Specifically, at Clean Club Calgary, a number of our team call Calgary their new home. Our clients are directly supporting these individuals in building their quality of life as they settle in the great YYC.
And, with 97.8% – ALMOST 98 PERCENT! – of businesses in Canada qualifying as a small business (less than 100 employees), and employing nearly 54% of Canadians, supporting local businesses is crucial to stimulating your city’s economy.
SUPPORTING LOCAL SEES MORE BUSINESSES INVESTING BACK INTO YOUR COMMUNITY
Local businesses are more likely to directly invest back into your community, such as by contributing to and supporting local non-profits and groups that are important to you/the city. Plain and simple, local business owners tend to be more invested in the long-term future of the community and the individuals who reside there.
For instance, at Clean Club Calgary we donate our time and cleaning services to people undergoing cancer treatment (providing two free cleanings of three hours each). This allows us to support individuals as they move through a challenging time in their life without having to worry about cleaning their home. By investing in these individuals, they, in turn, can focus on their recovery.
In addition, even if you are supporting a company that is local but is part of a larger franchise, the franchiser does not always keep the money in the local economy because of ownership, licencing fees, and so on. If you are wanting your money to go back into your local economy, I encourage you to look into where franchise fees go if you are deciding between a local company and a larger, national franchise.
LOCAL BUSINESSES FOCUS ON THE LOCAL GOOD AND LONG-TERM COMMUNITY HEALTH
The truth is that I purposely started a business focused on cleaning because I saw the immediate impact it can have on a space. At Clean Club Calgary, we are grateful that we can support other local businesses with how they present their company through our commercial cleaning services. We are also grateful to the residents who trust us with their home cleaning to improve the quality of their lives. We believe in the power of clean and the lasting impact it can have on the larger community.
Business owners work hard and have agreements not only with their customers, but with their employees, to ensure long-term sustainability. This focus on serving the team goes a long way for building local organizations full of individuals who truly want the best for their community. For me, ensuring my team members have their full-time hours while providing excellence in service is what keeps me up at night. These people trust me to support their livelihood just as much as our clients trust us to support their quality of life through cleaning. This is something that most business owners I’ve spoken with feel similarly about, particularly within Calgary’s significant small business community. With this entrepreneurial drive at our core, along with the benefits that come to a city that supports local business, investing in each other is crucial for our city’s growth and economic sustainability.
Ultimately, this Chamber event inspired me to understand how Calgary businesses can work together for the betterment of our city. At Clean Club Calgary, our promise is to serve Calgary, invest in our people, and commit to creating more opportunities for improved and sustainable quality of life.
Share your thoughts about buying local with us! We want to know how we can have more impact on the communities, businesses, and families that we serve.