During the past three years the Chamber, working with Aasman Brand Communications and the business community, and with the financial support of the Department of Economic Development and the City of Whitehorse created a Buy Local Campaign that we call “Look Inside – Your Business Builds Community”.
Our goal is to create a healthy and competitive Whitehorse economy – and a thriving private sector. Part of this initiative is the Yukoner Appreciation Day celebrated the first Friday of November each year. This event, which heralds a huge ‘thank you’ to Whitehorse and Yukon residents attracted over 50 businesses last year and well over 3,000 residents visiting participating businesses.
What are our Buy Local objectives?
- Increasing Yukon consumer and business awareness of the benefits of local purchases and the contribution of the business community to Whitehorse.
- Educating Whitehorse businesses – SME Training and Development on the value proposition of service and customer satisfaction, of inventory levels, and of giving back to the community and of purchasing from other local businesses.
- Increasing the priority of local spending in decision-making criteria of Yukon consumers and businesses.
- Strengthen co-promotional/partnerships/collaborative efforts between local businesses and organizations.
- Secure recognition within all levels of government procurement of benefits of spending within Whitehorse.
With the steady growth in retail spending habits it seems we are having an impact on Whitehorse Consumers; but this is not an area where we can let up – we have to keep hitting home with the messaging.
Many cities across Canada are encouraging people in their communities to shop local. The chamber’s Look Insidecampaign was created to show Yukoners, business people and government purchasing agents the value of thinking locally and making purchases inside Whitehorse and Yukon.
There’s value in shopping local, and it goes beyond the immediate gratification of finding the right product and the great feeling you get from service beyond expectations. Shopping is, above all, a social experience. From frequenting your neighbour’s business to seasonal shopping events with visitors, to the relationships developed with the staff while shopping.
Shopping locally develops our economy, creates jobs, and supports many community events.
Shopping with Benefits
Local businesses offer opportunity for personal connection. Whatever day you do your groceries is the day you re-establish relationship with a specific set of neighbours, friends and acquaintances. That’s how it’s done in Yukon. Show up regularly and you’re on a first name basis with the guy behind the counter, the woman that helps you choose that thing, the owner who’ll demonstrate that gee-whiz he knew you were interested in. That personal connection with merchants means that shoppers can express their needs face-to-face, get immediate customized support and feel assured that the solution they go home with is the right fit — whether it’s a shirt for work, siding for your home or jewelry for your spouse.
A Sensible Way to Shop
Online shopping is great. But unless it’s made of binary code, you’re not getting it today. Like your Grandad’s old-timey Yukon catalogue shopping, there’s lead-time, shipping timeand shipping cost, both financial and environmental. Plus a degree of guesswork when it comes to sizes, colour, texture and everything physical a product embodies. And let’s hope they don’t ship the one that’s slightly flawed that you would never have picked… Purchasing in Whitehorse means you touch, feel, see, smell, examine, compare and try a product. Sometimes, you’ll even taste it. And, after you’ve bought it in Whitehorse, the convenience of returning, exchanging, replacing or maintaining a product is unbeatable.