/A billion reasons to buy local

A billion reasons to buy local

By Chad Ingram

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on businesses in Haliburton County, some have laid off employees and some have had to close their doors.

It’s up to us to buoy the county’s economy though the approaching winter, all of us. Even if you’re not a huge shopper, you can make a positive impact by ensuring the purchases you do make are from local businesses, instead of through the internet.

Buy local or bye local, as the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce has been stressing recently. 

Buying stuff on the internet is convenient for a number of reasons. Obviously there is wide selection. There is often an opportunity to save money. And, you can have virtually everything delivered right to your doorstep, even in rural Ontario, something that is not only convenient, but desirable for many in a time of global pandemic.

However, online shopping, unless it is from a local business, is the enemy of local business. Buying from local businesses supports your friends, family and neighbours. There are countless studies showing the benefits of keeping money circulating through a local economy. It ultimately benefits us all.

Buying through the internet often benefits billionaires. Buying through Amazon is super convenient, sure. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest human being. In a feat that demonstrates with incredible clarity the lopsidedness of capitalism, Bezos is worth more than $200 billion, that number ever-growing, and there are numerous reports of how much his wealth has grown during the pandemic, some suggesting as much as 80 per cent.

In fact, things seem to be going really well for the world’s billionaires amid the COVID-19 crisis.

A study by The Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness shows that America’s 644 richest people saw their net worth rise by $930 billion between March and October. It shows the collective net worth of American billionaires to be $3.8 trillion, an amount of money that is double the total wealth held by the lowest-earning half of the U.S. population.

Don’t worry; Canadian billionaires are doing super great, too. In September, the Globe and Mail reported that the wealth of Canada’s 20 richest billionaires had increased by $37 billion since March. Media magnates the Thomson family saw their fortune grow by $8.8 billion during that time period, and over at Loblaw’s, Galen Weston had his bank account increase by $1.6 billion.

None of these people need our help. But the county’s merchants and business owners do.