Mark Drysdale

Mark Drysdale

The ‘ten per cent shift’ would benefit the whole community

Aggie Hall was buzzing April 1 and 2 as local businesses and organizations came together

Aggie Hall was buzzing April 1 and 2 as local businesses and organizations came together to participate in the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce Spring Home & Business Show.

“The Home & Business Show is about profiling Ladysmith Businesses,” said Chamber Manager Mark Drysdale. “It’s about giving businesses the opportunity to show their wares, their products, their services to the community.”

Dozens of businesses and organizations did just that, manning booths that displayed everything from fitness programs, to pest control, to kitchen wares, and services for families and kids.

But the biggest buzz in the room was about an initiative called the ‘Ten Per Cent Shift.’ The goal is to get local shoppers to think twice before they spend their dollars in communities other than Ladysmith.

Drysdale said people who live in Ladysmith quickly appreciate it’s sense of community. But they sometimes forget the role of local businesses in making the community so appealing.

“There’s people who live, eat and breathe Ladysmith,” Drysdale said. “But there’s other people for whom it acts more like a bedroom community. So maybe they’re not as tied into the local business as they could be. This is sort of an opportunity to maybe bring some of those folks into the equation.”

The equation is straight forward: support local businesses, which in turn support many of the events and activities that take place in Ladysmith, and you make a great community even better.

Lesley Parent of 49th Parallel Printers said local shoppers aren’t being asked to spend more; rather they are being encouraged to look for opportunities to do more of their shopping locally.

“Basically what we want people to do is think local first,” she said. “We’re not asking you to spend 10 per cent more, just try and shift it.”

“What does that 10 per cent shift do?” she asked. “Well you have to think about who’s supporting everything – all the sports clubs, the art gallery – that’s all the local businesses. And so, by supporting the local businesses you’re supporting your community.”

The payoff is pretty direct. “The dollars spent in the community go back into the community,” Parent said.