Editorial: Shop locally this Christmas, it’s part of what community is all about

There is a plethora of awesome gift ideas available from businesses close to home

Just starting your Christmas shopping? Or maybe you at least have a few things still to pick up, it is still just the beginning of December after all.

Think about buying your gifts locally this year. There are a whole bunch of reasons why it makes sense.

The B.C. government’s Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology came out with some statistics during BC Buy Local Week, which runs Dec. 3 to 9. Among them: for every $100 spent at a local business, an average of $46 goes back into the local economy, a number that far outstrips the local impact of money spent at a multi-national retailer.

The small business sector employs more than one million people in B.C., accounting for 54 per cent of total private-sector employment and small businesses are the source of 35 per cent of provincial gross domestic product and almost one-third of all wages paid to B.C. workers.

That’s a lot of growth and prosperity for your friends, family and community.

“Buying from local shops, manufacturers, artisans and farmers keeps money circulating in B.C.’s economy,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “This holiday season, we encourage everyone to support local businesses and help keep our communities vibrant.”

Many local businesses count on the Christmas season to help them make it through the traditionally slower period at the beginning of the new year. If want to keep our communities vibrant and thriving, we need to support our local businesspeople.

And let’s face it, it’s not a hardship. There are a plethora of awesome gift ideas from local businesses in cities and towns across Vancouver Island. You can get everything from food items to experiences, clothing to art to furniture. Whether it’s stocking stuffers or more extravagant gifts, someone’s got it.

Whether you head to a pre-Christmas craft fair in Courtenay or a mom and pop shop in downtown Duncan, you can find both what you’re looking for and things you may never have thought of, but are perfect for someone on your Christmas list.

And if you want to shop at a big box store, check out your local outlet, which employs local people, before scrambling online and buying from a website that’s never even heard of Vancouver Island.

Christmas is a great time to support each other by spending locally. That’s what community is all about.

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