Calgary business network is offering Calgarians a prime chance to shop local

A table showcasing products made by businesses of the Be Local YYC network (Photo from @belocalyyc on Instagram)

Be Local YYC is encouraging Calgarians to spend their money locally this holiday season.

And they’re offering shoppers a prime incentive.

To motivate Calgarians to buy from locally-owned and operated shops, the 200 member business network will give a $79 gift card to anyone who cancels their Amazon Prime membership.

That’s the price of an annual Amazon Prime membership.

“We really want to remind Calgarians that even though they may be doing more online shopping this Christmas, that they can still support local,” said Meredith Perich, social business coordinator with Momentum, the organization behind the Be Local YYC network.

Thirty-five of Be Local YYC’s vendors are participating in their Be Local Prime Days event, which started on Nov. 16 and will go until Christmas Eve.

They offer delivery every Wednesday, or, alternatively, you can pick up your online order on Wednesday.

The value of community

While Amazon may have everything anyone could think of, one local entrepreneur explained that Calgarians and Calgary needs the money more than Jeff Bezos and Amazon.

“It keeps food on the table and helps us keep our homes,” said Chris Meginbir, the founder of Devil’s Head Coffee.

“It also lets us local community entrepreneurs and members do something that we’re really passionate about, bringing those products to our community members.”

Perich emphasized the value of spending locally.

“The impact of your money going to Amazon is far less, of course, for Jeff Bezos than the difference that makes for local businesses and then for community,” she said.

“The dollars that go into local businesses go much further than dollars that would go to Amazon.”

Throughout the year, Meginbir said he dealt with more hardships than the pandemic.

“Our storefront got robbed, my cargo trailer got broken into, and we got taken for digital fraud,” said Meginbir.

“So it was just an unbelievable year.”

But after those difficulties, the community rallied behind Devil’s Head Coffee. It’s something that Meginbir said helped them recover.

Investing in the local economy

The support Meginbir and Devil’s Head Coffee got from the community helped him understand the value of spending money locally.

“It keeps the dollars here, to fund our daycare bills, paying our taxes and things like that,” he said.

“By doing that (buying local), it allows us to not to draw upon social welfare programs so that others who are in need have access to it…that provides one more family access.”

You can learn more about Be Local YYC and Buy Local Prime Days on their website.

The City of Calgary is also running a support local business campaign.

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