To shop local or to pay Bezos…

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A person standing at a fork in a road, with one road going to a small local store and the other toward an Amazon delivery truck.
Doing the right thing can be difficult when it risks breaking the bank. Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

There are many great reasons to support local shops, but finding what you need isn’t always simple

katlyn richardson, contributor

Over the last few years, with the influence of the pandemic, there has been a growing call to shop at locally-owned businesses. Regina has a variety of local businesses based on what your interests are, which is pretty incredible for a place this size. A local business owner is far more likely to give good service and quickly fix errors.  

I have been trying to avoid Amazon shopping unless absolutely necessary (as in I need something, have checked a few stores, and then did not find what I need). As a plus-sized person, it’s honestly hard to get clothes that are actually affordable (not $60 per item). I often rely on sites to just have a decent wardrobe without breaking the bank. The only in-person place I have found that doesn’t cost a ton is Warehouse One and it’s an international chain, not a locally-owned business. While local clothes shopping may be a bit limited, there are a ton of other places here that meet a variety of interests.  

One of my favourite places is Comic Readers. I have spent so much on Pokémon model kits lately, especially Eevee ones, even though I was there for something else. I got into Magic: The Gathering during the pandemic and Comic Readers is the best place to get cards during new set releases, since Walmart likes to jack the prices up $20 at a minimum. Also, during the pre-release period you can participate in events to play with others. The staff that work there are very welcoming to people just getting into a new hobby, which really helped me get started and meet new people.  

Another local business I love is Excalipurr on Albert Street. Excalipurr is our local cat café where adoptable kitties can find their ‘furrever home’ with the patrons. Every time I am there I find another cat I want. My mom also loves this place. An extra great part is the pay-it-forward board where people can buy drinks or coffees for those who may need it. Finding these connections are so integral in their success. 

Amazon has killed many local businesses due to the simplicity of ordering from home. For someone with a disability, Amazon has become a way to quickly get just about everything all within a few days with a very low chance that the needed supply is unobtainable. Because of this scenario, I have come to believe that, unless absolutely necessary to do otherwise, supporting local is the right thing to do. These business owners often try to give back to the community as much as they can. Buy your meats from local butchers, your bread from bakeries, and your hobby from local hobby stores. But do not go out of your way to harm yourself if using large chains makes your life easier. Look out for yourself in a world that is growing more harmful because you deserve to enjoy things and be easier on yourself. Hopefully someday we’ll see an Amazon equivalent that lets you order local to your door.  

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