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How to Support Local Businesses

Calgary Dollars believes that the local economy is better for our planet, our communities, and our lives.  A local currency, like Calgary Dollars, keeps our money local, which supports local businesses and entrepreneurs, and gives them our money instead of large corporations who take our money to head office out of Calgary and on to shareholders around the world.  When you use Calgary Dollars, you’re supporting your neighbours, your friends, your businesses and your city.  This is ‘localism’, which differs from globalism because it says that a strong fabric of communities is interested in our lives, instead of some far away large business just interested in our dollar.

In an effort towards localism, we propose that acting locally with our businesses and members is an effort towards creating a stronger sense of community, connection with the environment, and local economy.  The following guiding values are values by which we as an organisation strive towards, enact, and offer as inspiration for our collaborators, participants, and members:

1) Community.  By strengthening relationships, respecting differences while working in a spirit of collaboration and connection, we can create a dynamic and strong society that is just and fair. Vibrant local businesses can contribute back to their communities and neighbourhoods by encouraging diversity and choice and offering a meeting space or hub for their patrons who can feel assured that they are in-turn contributing to their community when they spend money at these businesses.

2) Environment.  C$ believes that businesses who make specific / considerable/ significant effort to be environmentally sustainable in practice are acting locally, by reducing carbon emissions through less international trade and transportation, contribute to reducing methane and other ozone depleting compounds by composting, and having less environmental impact via less virgin plastic consumption through the 4 R’s  (Reduce, Reuse, Rebuy, Recycle).

3) Economy.  C$ believes that supporting our local economy through complementary currencies, bartering or otherwise, creates stronger resilience to financial ups-and-downs.  This can be obtained by keeping our money local, buying locally, supporting local businesses, trading fairly, and giving back to our communities via volunteerism, financial support (donations, grants or otherwise).  One way to do this is by paying a living wage to employees, offering jobs in respect to diversity (economically, ability, culturally, etc.), and having a procurement plan to determine a code outlining where and what you will purchase.

4) Ownership.  C$ believes that businesses that are locally owned deserve to be supported by other locally owned businesses, through established relationships, through loyalty purchasing, and more, in an effort to support businesses that are rooted in our community.

5) Inclusivity.  C$ believes that entrepreneurial, micro enterprising, and small home based businesses - as well as larger store-front businesses - can all work in an effort towards localism by supporting and including each other in the above values.


6) Meaningful.  C$ believes that businesses that incorporate a deeper sense of meaning to what they do, how they do it, and why they do it, create more meaning for members and the communities for which they operate, and thus increase the community’s sense of value and worth.