Since Canadian Loonies takes flight and soars through the economy, Canadians have found a need to do a little retail therapy. Naturally the first instinct is to take our stronger dollar to the States. For so many years we have had to suffer and bite the bullet by paying exorbitant exchange rates when crossing the border for either business or pleasure. Just as some Chinese proverb, “30 years at the east bank of the river, 40 years at the west bank of the river”, it is the first time in many years an empowered bronzed, indigenous water fowl has asked George Washington to step aside.
As we head south in our gas guzzling automobiles at $1.02~$1.05 liter with our fist full of dollars are we really truly benefiting or are we jeopardizing the local economy as whole? Lots of Canadians admit that they save little for cross shopping, just for fun! Actually, there are more advantages and reasons shopping locally to support your local business.
1.How much do you really save? To take advantage of the $400 exemption, you must be out of the country for at least 48 hours. That means meals and a hotel in addition to the gasoline, car maintenance, and other expenses that go into a weekend of shopping. If you buy more or do not stay out for the require d time you should declare your purchases at the border, which may mean having to pay Canadian taxes on top of any U.S. sales taxes you paid at the cash register. And if you don’t declare it, you are smuggling.
2.Your time is valuable. With new restrictions coming into place at the Canada/U.S. border, lineups are predicted to get even longer. Once you take into consideration the time it takes to make the trip and wait at the border to cross both ways, you may wonder if it is really worth your time.
3.Different countries, different standards. While both countries have made great strides in harmonizing standards, you can’t be completely sure you are getting exactly the same thing when you buy products aboard. Buying at home from retailers you trust ensures you get exactly what you expect and minimizes the chances of purchasing defective or faulty merchandise.
4.Returns are more convenient. Wrong size? Wrong color? A local merchant can likely handle any returns issue with ease, e.g. Canadian Tire has 90days return policy even without a receipt, compared to the time and effort it would take to bring the item back to an out of country retailer.
5.After-sale service and warranties are easier. Some merchandise may require installation or service once you bring it home. Other products like electrical and electronic items come with a warranty. In both cases your local merchants in just in the corner.
6.Retail taxes support our public services. Taxes are never popular, but the fact is the taxes collected and paid by retailers are a significant source of revenue for municipal, provincial, and federal governments-revenues used to pay for heath care, education, road repairs, and a host of other services we use everyday. Fewer sales mean lower revenues and poorer public services.
7.Local merchants are a vital part of the economy of your town. More than 10% of the workers in your community work in retail, and their jobs depend on your purchases. Fewer sales mean fewer hours of work for your neighbors, especially the young people in your community.
8.Local business is at the heart of your community. Business in your community donates a significant portion of their revenues to non-profit groups, sports teams and cultural activities. Fewer sales mean less support for local charities and events. Local business died, our festivals gone, Santa Parade gone, our community is dying!