Many consumers will be going offline and heading into stores this holiday season because of Canada Post’s backlog of six million packages. A study shows one in four Canadians are cutting back on online shopping because of concerns over potential delivery disruptions.

Canada Post has warned consumers it may not get parcels delivered on time because of existing backlogs following six weeks of rotating strikes, and potential severe winter weather.

Everybody loves convenient shopping and saving money, but if you aren’t shopping locally “offline”, you may be missing out on great opportunities to improve the community and get more from your shopping dollars.

Seven great reasons to shop and buy locally as noted by Billet Marketing Inc

 1) Put your money to work by support the local economy. Local business hire locally and most purchase ingredients, materials, supplies and a host of professional services locally. These business to business transactions are good for the local economy. On average local businesses return 45-cents of every dollar in sales to the local economy compared with the 9-cents spent at big-box chain stores.

 2) The local economy employs much of a community’s work-force.

A study in Michigan found a small 10% shift in community spending from superstores would generate significant additional local employment. These kinds of shifts in spending can be the kind of investment needed to keep a local economy vibrant.

 3) Local businesses offer far better customer service and they take the time to help with product selection.

If you go into many big-box retailers, the clerk often has very little product knowledge and no interest in customer service. Local business owners don’t put up with this. In a competitive environment where every sales dollar counts, businesses treat their staff and customers differently. You can feel the difference.

 4) Local buying helps create a more vibrant neighbourhood.

Every community is home to businesses that are unique and add to the local character. These are the businesses that have become institutions and form the landmarks of our lives. They trigger memories and recalled experiences. A community wouldn’t be as friendly and welcoming without them. None of these businesses would have survived without local customers and during tough times, loyal support.

5) Shopping locally is far better for the environment and for health.

Shopping locally is far less taxing on the road infrastructure. Shopping locally reduces fuel, maintenance and depreciation cost on vehicles.  It reduces time for travel and the bothersome issue of parking.  Waking to a store twice a week for grocery shopping provides immense health benefits. Its, joyful, invigorating and is a simple way to add health years to one’s life.

6) Small business support local sports and community groups.

Non-profit groups provide on average twice to three times more in terms of support to local sports teams, youth groups, non-profit groups, and community festivals. Local managers and staff also contribute directly by providing volunteers time and valuable relevant business experience when involved in local organizations and committees.

7) Local business owners and staff are more invested in overall community success.

They typically live in the area and raise families there. Local businesses owners and local staff help deter crime, help keep the community clean, contribute and participate in improvement projects, and are generally more concerned about community development of the local area. They are community builders on many levels.