It’s one of the most exciting times of year again but of course, everything is different. Winter is upon us as we lead up to the holiday season and I want to encourage islanders to make this holiday as local as it can be, especially with… Black Friday quickly approaching!
Every year, this season is the make it or break it for local small businesses, especially for artisans, retailers, food and hospitality. Most businesses are not going into this season with their typical summer savings to make it through until spring and they need local help, especially with travel restrictions coming into place this week.
I want to remind you of the positive impacts supporting local has - it puts food on hard working people’s plates, it employs locals, it has an economic multiplier effect in our community, you receive personalized service, you choose with your dollars who to support, it reduces the impact on the environment and it keeps our community culture and identity.
This year, there are two great opportunities with amazing incentives to support local!
Salt Spring Cheer Challenge
With over $4000 in prizes to give away between now and December 18th, supporting local is better than ever!
- Get your list of 100 activities to do on Salt Spring www.saltspringexchange.com/cheer
- Choose your activities
- Take photos doing the activities then enter online at www.saltspringexchange.com/cheer.
- If you’re feeling extra excited about spreading cheer, share your photos on social media with the #saltspringcheer to help island families in need. For every photo shared, Country Grocer will donate a $1 up to $2000.
- Full details available at www.saltspringchamber.com/cheer.
Ganges Winter Wander
Launching this Saturday November 21 with a bang (or Christmas jingle), visit any of the participating businesses for extra discounts and specials from 10am-6pm, AND enter online for your chance to win prizes from the local participating businesses. What sweetens the deal is that you can shop anytime between November 21 and Dec 22 at participating businesses to enter in their prize draws - find the QR code at the tills to enter, and check out the prize window at Salt Spring Coffee. *Secret* - Participating in the Winter Wander is one of the 100 activities to do for the Salt Spring Cheer Challenge! Take your photos while you’re out wandering.
There are many other opportunities to support local as well *secret* - also part of the Salt Spring Cheer Challenge! Recently announced there are Winter Markets almost every weekend leading up the holidays, WinterCraft opens Friday Nov 20th, artisan studios and galleries are open, and of course so are the local retail shops.
I understand many are starting to feel that going out is becoming more risky with the current situation, however if you choose to shop online, Think Local First! Many local businesses have online stores, deliver, provide contactless pick-up and ship to your home. If a specific store does not have online shopping, give them a call and see if they can offer shopping by phone, or a private shopping experience. It’s also a perfect time to give a local gift card (islandcomeback.ca), and donate to a non-profit or charity in the name of your loved ones.
Though I must sound like a broken record - we’re all in this together and the livelihood of many locals rely on community support.
Shop Local, Shop Early, Shop Safe.