Regina mistletoe market gives shoppers chance to buy local, fight inflation

The first Mistletoe Market in Regina was held at the RCMP Heritage Centre.

While the cost of living is forcing some Regina shoppers to tighten their purse strings for the holidays, shopping local could help save a penny.

The RCMP Heritage Centre hosted its first-ever mistletoe market Saturday, featuring local products and vendors with a wide variety of holiday décor and gifts.

“It’s our first time hosting something like this and there’s been a lot of excitement,” said Sam Karikas, CEO of the RCMP Heritage Centre. “I think local markets give people an opportunity not only to put those dollars back into the community but to support people in their community.”

With inflation raising the costs of nearly everything, local businesses hope markets help people pick up what they need at a good price.

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“Our local businesses are struggling with the economy and people are spending less money,” local vendor Heather Ervin said. “The price of groceries and your basic necessities are rising so if we have less to spend, it’s important that we’re spending that with our local businesses so that we can keep a sustainable city.”

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According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the holiday season represents about 40 per cent of annual sales for small businesses.

Some vendors say that inflation isn’t the only thing driving buyers to local markets – it’s also better quality items.

“There’s a lot of people who make a lot of interesting things and put a lot of time and effort into their business,” said Allana Graham, who helps run Jennifer’s Craft Closet. “I think it’s good to give those businesses an opportunity to keep afloat.”

Ervin argues instead of spending money on shipping, prices at local stations are very comparable, especially when vendors often undervalue their work.

“My father is a maker and he’s selling things at this market and I know that he’s grossly underpriced his products. My friends keep getting on his case too,” Ervin said with a laugh.

“If we lose all of our local businesses and we lose the local culture, the local food and the makers and business owners, we won’t have a city that people will want to be looking at,” Ervin added.

Saturday’s market falls exactly one month before Christmas day.

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