The Southwest Booster

Residents need to support its communitie­s’ businesses

- Communityw­ire

A community is more than a group living in a particular area.

A community is where strangers become friends, local businesses build each other up, and important topics are debated and tackled.

Communitie­s help us through tough times and allow us to celebrate as a collective when things go well. By investing in our communitie­s, everyone reaps the benefits.

The holidays are a perfect time to honour the power of community by supporting local. Here are three ways you can support local this holiday season and beyond:

1. Shop Local

Small businesses are the heart of communitie­s across the country. When you shop locally, you support more than your town’s economy; you support your friends’ and neighbours’ livelihood­s. And in turn, this support can help businesses thrive to support the community.

Research finds that for every dollar spent at a local small business, $0.66 stays local compared to only $0.11 when spent at a multinatio­nal.

So, instead of turning to the big box stores this season, take your gift shopping to local small businesses.

2. Support Your Local Newspaper

Local news unites communitie­s. Local newspapers are an essential part of communitie­s across Canada that keep them informed and connected.

You may not know that they are small businesses, too, and one of the last-standing sources of local credible news that cannot be found anywhere else. Newspapers – and the people behind them – champion and challenge communitie­s to spark meaningful dialogue about what matters to them.

Supporting your local newspaper is essential and rewarding, and there are many ways to do so.

For example, you can subscribe to your local newspaper, gift a subscripti­on to a loved one, sign up for email newsletter­s, submit a donation, or buy a print or digital ad if you’re a local business owner.

3. Give Back to Your Community

Supporting local charities is a great way to strengthen your community while helping those who most need it. Giving back doesn’t always come with a price tag. You can contribute to your community by volunteeri­ng your time to give back in any way that works best for you.

Another way to give back and support Canadian news media this holiday season is by purchasing a copy of News Media Canada’s limited-edition book, Champions, featuring inspiratio­nal stories of notable Canadians from the news media industry.

All book proceeds are being donated to First Book Canada to transform the lives of children in need by making new, quality books and resources available to those who need them most.

Learn more about Champions and show your support for the industry this holiday season by purchasing a copy of the Champions book at www.championso­

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