Shop local and love where you live
From the Mayor's Desk is a new monthly column for The SouthWest Wire from Yarmouth's Mayor Pam Mood.
No other season manifests that beautiful giving spirit more than the one that is upon us. We rally around our local food banks and gift-giving campaigns and don our festive aprons as we serve up turkey dinners. We gather coats and hats and mittens and ageappropriate gifts for children, deliver mounds of home-baked goodies to grateful beneficiaries and play Secret Santa, delighted at the gratification anonymity brings. There is something about the holidays that brings out the best in us.
Community supporting community is a beautiful thing, and around these parts, we shine. The ways to serve, give and support are endless, and always in the forefront of our minds. As I meandered in and out of many of our businesses this week, I was reminded of how supporting local is one of the best ways to uplift an entire community and I challenged myself, as I do each year, to shop right here in our friendly Southwest Nova neighbourhood. The reasons for doing so are plentiful.
The faces of our shop keepers are enough to encourage local shopping. They are our friends, our neighbours, the very people we go to throughout the year for donations. They step up every time, regardless of any hardships they may be experiencing. Studies show local businesses donate twice as much to community as larger chains. Let's reciprocate that support.
Shopping local is a matter of simple economics. When we pass that crisp $20 bill over the counter, we are guaranteed that the vast majority of that money will stay in the community. That number drops to zero when we leave the region to shop.
We're all concerned about jobs. Busy shops and restaurants mean the businesses must hire people to keep up with the demand. If you shop local, grab yourself an “I help create jobs” T-shirt – printed and purchased locally, of course.
Who isn't environmentally conscious these days? We've all seen the packing material used in shipments from those online shopping companies (who shall remain nameless). We're so exhausted from getting through the layers of packaging that we forgot why we placed the order in the first place. Remedy? Buy local. Save a tree. Reduce plastic arriving at our solid waste facility. Trust me, the online biggies aren't going to go bust because we didn't order.
“But I want more!” we cry out. My friends, the way to create more small, fun, entrepreneurial businesses is to support the ones we have, setting future businesses up for success.
How will you support local? Will you order takeout? Have a sit-down meal with friends and family, served by the friendliest of staff? Perhaps you'll gather friends and do a downtownshopping afternoon complete with a tea party to top it off. A trip to the mall will result in great service by locals, and let's not forget our local chain stores that create many jobs and need our support as well.
Some of you will purchase much sought-after gift certificates from the many offerings.
Maybe even a Mariners-onMain membership or two will find their way under the tree. Me? I'm excited to chat with merchants who are excited about their specialties, take a shopping break at one of our many coffee shops (sweet treats included!) and have lunch with friends at a restaurant that can only be found here. And I'll pack my SUV with friends and head out to Port Maitland and Tusket and our other wonderful villages to get a taste of the plethora of offerings. Then I'll come home with a treasure trove of wonderful finds complete with fun memories and the knowledge that I have, in some small way, contributed to the success of community.
YOUR MONTHLY “FYIS” FOR DECEMBER
• Shop downtown, park for FREE! For the month of December, parking is free with no time limits in designated parking spots and townowned lots. Parking enforcement will return on Jan. 4.
• Winter Parking Regulations for the 2021/2022 season are now in effect: No parking on the street between the hours of one o'clock in the morning and seven o'clock in the morning of the same day; Don't park or leave a vehicle (attended or unattended) on the streets that might interfere with or obstruct snow removal or winter maintenance operations; Don't park on any street during the period from one hour after a snowstorm has begun to two hours after the storm has stopped.
• Town Hall Holiday
Hours: we close at noon on Dec. 24 and reopen on Jan. 4.
Wishing each of you the richest blessings of the season,
— Mayor Pam Mood