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Okanagan retailers plead for shoppers to support local businesses during holidays

Click to play video: 'Consumers asked for community support on BC Buy Local Week' Consumers asked for community support on BC Buy Local Week
It may be Cyber Monday today but it's also the start of the ninth annual BC buy local week. BC buy local is an awareness campaign designed to keep consumer dollars in the local community. When it comes to gift-giving, small retailers across the province are hoping that consumers support small businesses. – Nov 30, 2020

When it comes to gift giving, small retailers across British Columbia are hoping consumers will support small businesses this holiday season.

The ninth annual B.C. Buy Local week kicked off Monday to encourage consumers to do their holiday spending at locally-owned businesses.

“These businesses are also residents, and the money that they earn and their profits go right back into our community,” Downtown Kelowna Association executive director Mark Burley said.

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Many local retailers said they’ve been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Not a lot of people know that when they spend money with local businesses, 63 per cent of it stays circulating in the community, compared to only 14 per cent when spending at multinationals,” said Amy Robinson, B.C. Buy Local Week founder.

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“And that creates 4.6 times the economic benefit.”

Many shoppers said they’re trying to support local this year because of the pandemic.

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“My mission is to buy local, support small and just our local Okanagan artists or small-town everyday people,” shopper Amanda Verker said.

“With COVID and all the shutdowns, it’s our small local businesses that have been affected the most, and I think that it is important to drive our money back into the economy,” she added.

The B.C. Buy Local Week showcase continues until Dec. 6.

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