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EDITORIAL: Shop locally for the holidays this year

If you haven’t yet explored what Port Alberni retailers have to offer you’re in for a treat…
Think about shopping locally for the holidays this year. (Metro Creative Services photo)

It seemed that Christmas paraphernalia went up in stores earlier than ever this year.

Weeks before Halloween, shops were already changing their displays from spooky to jolly. Which brings us inevitably to Christmas shopping.

While people celebrate the holidays in myriad different ways, giving gifts to those closest to us is a tradition followed by the majority. Whether you start shopping as soon as the Christmas displays go up, or wait until Christmas Eve, we urge you to think about buying your gifts locally this year. Your limited holiday budget won’t mean much to billion-dollar corporations like Amazon, but will mean a lot to mom-and-pop shops in the Alberni Valley.

This year, BC Buy Local Week is from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, and they’ve got a different theme for each of the seven days.

There’s buying online from local stores, shopping in person at local stores, giving local experiences, supporting communities by shopping the main street, choosing local food and beverages, buying locally made items and buying gift cards to local stores.

The BC Buy Local Week website calculates that the average Canadian spends about $1,600 on travel, food, drinks and gifts over the holidays. By shifting a portion of that money to local establishments you help keep local businesses open and local people employed.

Brick and mortar stores employ locals and pay taxes to keep our communities running. BC Buy Local Week says that $63 of every $100 spent at these shops is recirculated back into the local economy.

If you prefer to shop from your computer, consider that of the $4 billion Canadians spend every month online, two out of three dollars goes to a U.S. multinational. You can bet they’re not sponsoring the local soccer team. So think about looking up some of Port Alberni’s best as you browse.

And let’s not forget about the local and regional artisans. Port Alberni boasts some of the best craft fairs anywhere at this time of year.

If you haven’t yet explored what Port Alberni retailers have to offer you’re in for a treat. Especially as the cost of living rises for everyone, your patronage will mean more than ever to your fellow Port Alberni area residents this year.

— Black Press