Sask. NDP propose monthly ‘buy local day’

Saskatchewan NDP introduces legislation which he says would be a step in creating greater economic sustainability in the province. File / Global News

REGINA – NDP Leader Cam Broten introduced a bill Monday which would proclaim the first Saturday of each month as ‘buy local day’ in Saskatchewan.

Broten says it follows through on the Opposition’s pledge to support a grassroots movement of Saskatchewan business owners.

The idea originated from the advocacy group Sasklandia.

“I met with the Sasklandia group over the past months and they brought this idea forward and I think it’s a great one,” said Broten.

“This is a concrete and an easy step we could take as a province to support local businesses.”

Over 98 per cent of Saskatchewan businesses are small businesses with less than 50 employees, according to the NDP.

“Anything that we can do as a province to support local Saskatchewan businesses is a great thing, it keeps dollars in the province. We know there’s a bigger spinoff that supports other businesses and community groups,” Broten explained.

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According to Sasklandia, for every $100 spent at a local business, $73 stays in the province, whereas only $43 stays if spent at a non-Saskatchewan business.

If the bill passes, the NDP expects the provincial government would then encourage families to shop at Saskatchewan-owned businesses and provide information to make informed consumer choices.

“The government has a big army communications folks and once a month you could highlight a local business, we could highlight the benefits of shopping locally and Saturday is a great day to do it. People are doing their errands and running around the province,” said Broten.

“This shouldn’t be controversial. I would be really surprised if the government didn’t support it.”

The NDP expect the bill to receive a second reading Thursday.