A Letter from Live Local Alberta Founder
My name is Jessie Radies. I am the founder of Live Local, and I want you to Dine, Eat and Shop in local and independent businesses. I started this organization because I am passionate about improving our community’s local economy.
Why? Because a strong local economy can cure some many of the ills that affect our community and our daily life.
Let me explain.
In Alberta we have a strong, resource based economy. This has provided our province with many advantages that other provinces and economies envy. But even in the strongest economic times, there are many segments of our community that continue to struggle.
Over the years, income levels have remained the same, the middle class continues to shrink and unfortunately more children are living in poverty more than ever before.
You might ask how this can be happening in good economic times? I suspect there are dozens of reasons, and many of them are complicated.
I became aware of a solution – a solution that is not complicated. A solution that strengthens and supports our communities, entrepreneurs and our local and independent businesses. A solution that is shopping, dining and eating local. It’s that simple.
At Live Local we are passionate about building communities and a local economy that increases the quality of life for our citizens, creates opportunity, reduces poverty, increases the size of the middle class, and ensures long term prosperity for our region.
We know that when we spend money in local and independent businesses, those dollars work harder in our community. Three times harder. In fact, we can triple the impact of our dollars when we spend them in local independent businesses – that means 3 times the local economic impact and three times the opportunity for jobs.
Collectively, we spend about $20 billion dollars on retail goods and services in the capital region. Right now, only a very small portion of that $20 billion is being re-invested with our local businesses and communities. Right now the majority of that $20 billion is being sent back to national head offices across the country and North America. Now imagine if we could keep a larger share of that $20 billion the positive impact it would have on the entire region.
If we shift a portion of our spending to local and independent business, we can revitalize neighbourhoods, reduce our environmental impact, build new industries and create thousands of new jobs. At Live Local we appreciate that not all spending can be local. But even the smallest shift can have the greatest impact. It certainly will not solve all of our problems, but it will start addressing a few. We have to start somewhere.
Earlier I said I would like you to Dine, Eat and Shop Local. Here’s why:
When you Dine Local… you are supporting the local restaurant owner, their staff, the local farmers they buy from, the local professionals they buy services from, the local wholesaler, local repair guy, as well as the numerous charities and local organizations they make donations to. Successful local restaurants are one of the most effective ways to create jobs, increase opportunities for new entrepreneurs and build a local food system.
When you Eat Local …you are supporting the farmer, independent grocer, local producer or specialty shop owner—and all of the businesses that that are connected to that entrepreneur. Eating local allows us to create a diverse, sustainable local food system. Eating local has a direct positive impact on the health of rural communities, the health of our environment and the health of our citizens. Talk about preventative health care.
When you Shop Local …you are supporting the local merchant, the staff of the merchant, any local suppliers of the merchant, and all local businesses that that merchant buys services from which may include graphic designers, accountants, lawyers, advertising companies, packaging companies as well as a variety of local charities and organization that business makes donations to.
You see…one simple act of supporting one local business can make a difference to so many others. Our local merchants, farmers, restaurant owners, artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations need your patronage and more importantly our community needs them.
Like I said before, the solution is not complicated. We can build a community that is vibrant, prosperous, resilient and sustainable, just by spending our money differently. Simple really.