The Hub December 2016/January 2017 - Page 11

S mall independent shops do a large chunk of their yearly business during the three weeks leading up to Christmas. According to Statistics Canada, 15,000 new businesses will have opened their doors in 2016, but a little over 20 per cent will be closed before their first year anniversary. A successful holiday season could be the determining factor. A popular internet meme says “for every $100 spent locally, $68 goes back to the local economy.” Another meme explains what difference the money makes for the owners of small businesses. “When you buy from a mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college. Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy.” People who shop local are supporting the neighbourhoods in which they live. “I think the people that prefer to shop local have conscientious shopping mindsets, and like giving back to the community,” said Gail Rock, manager at Ten Thousand Villages in Walkerville. “It helps them to feel good about the gift they are giving.” New customers may discover what dedicated long term customers already know - local business owners take the time to get to know their customers. Casa Chavela, in downtown Windsor, celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. Owner Liz Munsterhjelm is familiar with her customers and what in particular they may be looking for. “There is a gentlemen who lives in Toronto who comes to the store before the holidays to pick up his gifts,” said Munsterhjelm. “He used to live in Windsor, and would come into the store to buy gifts then.” That kind of dedication is important to Munsterhjelm, since she’s a sole proprietor and works most of the hours herself. She has the opportunity to get to know her clientele and their particular needs. Even though it takes extra time, she interacts with her customers from ‘Hello, can I help you find something?’ to ‘Have a great day.’ And waiting time is nothing like a jam-packed big box store. “I have some customers who come into the store and don’t mind waiting for 20 minutes before checking out, because there is such a line at the chain store,” said Munsterhjelm. David Calsavara, a resident of Windsor-Essex and avid shopper, agreed that having the opportu ѼѕɅЁݥѠхѡȁ́́ͽѡѡЁɔȁݡ)͡q%Н́ɔɥݡԁ͡͵ȁѽɔtͅ ͅمɄ+qeԁЁѼхݥѠѡѡѽɔt)AeЁ݅́ɕ锁ѡЁѽɕ́ٔѥՔٕ́ݡ)Ё́Ѽ͡qȁѡ́ɥѥeЁɕ锁ݡЁЁ́ѼѡɽՍ)ѡݽɭ̳tͅIḾٕeЁȁ͍չ͕́ɝٽյ)ȁɥ́̀ɽѽɥ́܁ձȁѕ́ѼѥԁѼѡѽɔ)Н́ЁЁɥѥѡЁ́͵̸͕ͥѕ́䁉)Ʌ͕ѽɕ́ͥ́ݹ́݅ЁѼєх䁽ȸ%Ё́ѕѡ()Q)͕ͽ)ȁɕ)͵)䵽ݹ)ͥ((0