Is the ‘shop local’ sentiment in Regina carrying into 2021 holiday season?

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Is the ‘shop local’ sentiment in Regina carrying into 2021 holiday season?
WATCH: It's the second pandemic holiday shopping season and last year businesses saw a surge in people shopping and supporting local. But this year, it begs the question of whether that same sentiment is still there a year later? Taz Dhaliwal has the story. – Dec 13, 2021

After seeing much hype to shop local last year, the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce is trying their best to keep the sentiment going strong this holiday season with a recent campaign.

“So, ‘Why Regina?‘ is our shop local campaign, that really invites residents and anyone coming into our city to get out and explore all of the great things our city has to offer,” said Nicole Shepherd, Regina & District Chamber of Commerce spokesperson.

Shepherd said stores are also providing opportunities to shop both locally and safely with online, curbside and even delivery options in some cases.

Additionally, there’s several holiday deals on display for bargain hunters. Shepherd said the Chamber is seeing ongoing momentum on this front.

“Throughout the entire pandemic, we’ve seen really strong support for our local businesses in Regina and in Saskatchewan as a whole and we seem to be continuing to see that support this holiday season,” she explained.

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Read more: Supply chain issues, earlier holiday shopping could lead to empty shelves, higher prices: economist

The Loom and Magpie Boutique says business has been consistent for them during this festive season.

“It’s always busy for the holiday season. Compared to last year, I would say it’s about the same,” said Jeremy Chai, Loom and Magpie Boutique co-founder.

“I don’t notice anything, you know, significantly less or more,” he added.

However, Chai said he has noted a decrease in foot traffic, as more people are being drawn to online shopping. He believes this trend is mainly being caused by the persisting pandemic.

Read more: Amazon predicts disappointing holiday quarter amid supply chain slump 

However, some businesses owners Global News spoke to in the city, such as Christine Eutenier, the owner Heavenly Handmade, say they’re not experiencing the same steadiness or increase in revenue their counterparts are.

So far this year, Eutenier said she’s noticed roughly an overall 25 per cent decrease in sales.

“‘Support local’ was really huge last year and there was a lot of people supporting and you know there still is a lot of people that are supporting local this year, but I just don’t think the push is as big as it was last year and that’s why I think it’s showing in sales,” she explained.

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Euteneier thinks the slowdown may be partly due to some people facing more financial strain, but she’s still hoping to see a bump in businesses during the remaining weeks of 2021.

She also said she wants Regina residents to remember that by supporting local businesses, they’re also helping the many Saskatchewan vendors owners buy inventory from.

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