indicatorAlberta Lifestyle

Support Alberta by shopping local this holiday season

Learn how your spending impacts our province’s culture and community, and how you can save while shopping local.

By ATB Financial 1 December 2022 3 min read

Over the past year, inflation has affected Canadians’ everyday spending, whether at the grocery store or at the pump. As we approach the holiday season, a new survey by Canadian financial technology company Givex and Angus Reid says 68% of Canadians agree inflation has impacted their gift-giving plans. 

Many Albertans have been trying to save as much as they can, wherever they can—and for good reason. Turning to big box stores and major online retailers that offer free shipping, low prices and steep discounts seem like a natural choice to stay on budget during the holidays, and everyday.

However, Albertan small businesses have also been feeling the economical impacts, and need our support now more than ever. As we approach the busiest shopping time of the year, we have advice on how to shop local, even in challenging economic times. No matter how big or small your budget is, every dollar can make a difference.

How can you support Alberta this holiday season?

With the effects of inflation, supply chain issues, global unrest and a potential recession, many small businesses are relying on a profitable holiday season.


"Local businesses need our support more than ever right now. Consumers supporting local businesses will help our local economy continue to move forward. "

Carly Wells, ATB Senior Manager

If gift-giving is part of your holiday traditions, buying from local businesses keeps your money in Alberta, benefiting business owners and the local economy. Your purchases also enable local business owners to provide jobs to other Albertans.

When you choose to shop local, you also build our province’s culture. What do you want your neighborhood to be like? Your town or city? Your province? Makers shape our culture on every level, adding unique culture backgrounds, stories and style to create a rich, multifaceted community. How you choose to spend your money and time determine the cultural fabric you live, work and play in.

The benefits of shopping local

On top of supporting Albertan entrepreneurs and our province’s economy, buying local has its perks. A few include:

  • Durable, high quality goods that are made to last.
  • Experiencing art and beautifully made objects has been proven to lead to stress reduction and well being. The long-term effects of viewing creative work include increased immune and brain function, and the ability to process trauma.
  • The ability to contact the owner directly if you have questions or want to explore custom options.
  • Shorter shipping times or the ability to pick up on site means your gift will arrive on time.
  • Handmade goods conserve global energy, eliminate machinery, reduce waste and lower chemical use, making them a sustainable option for gift giving.
  • Locally made goods preserve culture and tradition. Through craftsmanship and quality, we can keep our communities rooted in traditional skills, cultural arts and storytelling that keeps Alberta’s ancestral heritage alive.

Where can you shop local?

Start supporting local businesses by looking in your neighborhood. Who’s making and selling things near you? When we start getting curious about what’s around us, we’ll likely discover local makers and build community while we’re at it.

Need some help finding Alberta-based businesses? If you’re browsing Etsy, you can set Alberta as your location, or check out in person events like Etsy Made In Canada in Edmonton or Found Holiday Market in Calgary. 

Explore these digital and in-person shops and events to start shopping local:

To find local markets in your area, check out Travel Alberta’s event list.

Can you save while shopping local? 

At first glance, buying from a local business seems more expensive. Higher quality goods are usually accompanied by higher price tags, and shipping comes at a cost. However, there are ways you can stick to your budget while supporting Alberta businesses.

  • Buy less gifts that are higher quality: while it may seem like ordering from a large online retailer is cheaper, there can be a natural tendency to purchase more items. Even with low prices, it adds up. Try purchasing less items from a local business. With a higher quality, durability and the potential for a cultural connection, locally made gifts make a big impact and are long lasting.
  • Buy goods in person when possible: save on shipping and skip the potential holiday delays by shopping at local businesses or markets within driving distance. If you have a favourite local maker, explore their website to see if they have stockists near you. 

Whatever your holiday customs, gift-giving has the potential to spread joy within your family, friends, community and province. By being mindful of where you shop and how much you purchase, you can lessen the financial strain for yourself and Alberta businesses.

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