Shop local this Christmas, for some unique gift opportunities. Photo: NDIT

Shop local this Christmas to get one-of-a-kind gifts for all on your list

Shopping local helps keep money and jobs in our communities

By Daniela Dyck

To shop, or to shop local?

That is the question many of us ponder throughout the year. Living in rural B.C. has its benefits and also its challenges, unfortunately. As consumers living in a small town we often spend our dollars in a larger centre. This usually makes for a full day of shopping, and generally, we believe we are saving our hard-earned dollars.

However, if you include the cost of fuel, meals, snacks, and perhaps those impulse buys that we just can’t resist, the items purchased often cost way more than if we had shopped locally.

There are many “shop local” initiatives throughout B.C. Some Ashcroft businesses participate in the “Love Ashcroft” program initiated by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

The intent of the program is to promote shopping local while providing a very affordable web presence for locally-owned, non-franchised businesses owners.

Did you know that for every $100 spent in a locally-owned business, $68 will stay in the community? Local businesses create jobs, provide services, and give back to community. Throughout the year they support community groups, students, fundraisers; the list is quite long.

Have you considered how much those donations cost the business? Yet every year those same businesses support the same causes that are near and dear to our hearts.

The Friday night Christmas Shopping Event in Ashcroft on Dec. 6, organized by the HUB, is an opportunity for us to give back to our local establishments.

Consider for a moment: how can you shop local, support local businesses, and purchase meaningful gifts for your loved ones for the holidays? We often don’t think about all the options available to us in a small community. Rather than purchasing yet another appliance, sweater, or gift that ends up in a closet, why not give the gift of a meal out, tire or oil change, baking, art, or a unique gift item that can only be found in an independent business? Christmas gifts can be practical, and many times these are appreciated as much — if not more — than that sweater that ends up in the cupboard.

This Christmas I encourage you to shop local, support local, give local, and support your local economy!

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