Editor’s note: Why shopping local outweighs the cost

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For the past 11 years, I have watched my mom run a successful small business in uptown Waterloo. Since I was young, I’ve spent much of my time at her shop, and now, I even work there part-time.
Having this personal connection to uptown Waterloo often encourages me to support local as much as I can and to make the effort to shop at stores in Uptown. I see the other small businesses in Uptown as I see my mom and her store — individuals who are passionate about their stores and their businesses and who genuinely care about their clientele.
Each one of the business owners in Uptown put forth time and care when choosing what they bring in and sell on their store-front.
These local business owners are what makes Uptown so unique. Their shops are filled with specialty items and their passion for their business make shopping at their stores distinctive.
Businesses in Uptown have endured over four years of consistent construction. As a result of construction, many local businesses have either had to relocate or shut down.
As LRT construction has finally come to an end and the Streetscape project is complete, businesses are finally getting relief from the closures and are slowly seeing customers coming back to Uptown.
As a result, it’s important now more than ever to support our local businesses — especially those who have been affected by the ongoing construction.
However, a lot of the time, the idea of shopping at stores in Uptown can be far removed from the minds of students who are looking for the best prices.
When choosing between shopping online and finding a more affordable price or sale, in contrast to going out to a local store and paying full price for the same product, the choice seems clear to most students who are on a budget.
Most students don’t have the luxury of buying things without worrying about how much money they have left in their bank accounts.
However, the reality is that — in some cases — the prices we pay for things online are almost equivalent to shopping at a physical store. And sometimes, even though prices at places such as Amazon might be lower, the shipping and handling fees we pay often make shopping online more expensive in the end.
But what’s important is that, by shopping at a local business, you’re supporting a local resident of Waterloo. And as an extension, you’re buying an item that has been carefully thought through by the owner of the store before it was sold to you.

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