Editorial: Consider buying in Cowichan this Christmas

You’ll find great, unique gifts, great service and the personal touch.

Have you made your list, checked it twice, and are now ready to head out Christmas shopping? Consider your Cowichan Valley shops first.

Not only will doing so save you the fuel costs to whatever big centre you otherwise may have headed to, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by both the variety of products and experiences you can purchase right here in Cowichan.

Our town centres from Mill Bay to Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake to Chemainus, Lake Cowichan to Duncan are all decked out for the holidays, lending the shopping chore a festive air. You’ll find great, unique gifts, great service and the personal touch.

And you’ll be helping the Cowichan economy at the same time — all those local business owners, the people they employ and the suppliers and other businesses they themselves patronize in turn. Wonder how much of a difference it actually makes? A pretty significant one, according to a study released last week.

The study by LOCO BC was conducted by Civic Economics to review the economic recirculation impact of local shopping. It was funded by Buy Social Canada, Community Impact Real Estate Society, the Township of Langley, and the Newton Business Improvement Association.

It found that a dollar spent at an independent business recirculates in the local economy 4.6 times more than a dollar spent at a multinational corporation. In other words, 63 cents stays in the community.

“Every dollar spent at locally owned businesses helps create and retain good jobs in B.C., and results in economic benefits for people throughout the province,” says Bruce Ralston, provincial minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Small actions can result in significant gains — if every British Columbian shifted 10 per cent of their spending to local businesses, it would keep an additional $4.3 billion in our economy every year.”

But, you say, you only like to shop online. You don’t like to have to try to find a place to park, and the big crowds of Christmas shoppers make you wish it was February. Check out some of the local online options. Many Cowichan Valley shops offer websites from which you can purchase, just as easily as you can from a foreign corporation.

So consider supporting a locally owned business this season. Or at least shop at a local outlet of a big chain to support the local people working there. You’ll be amazed at what the Cowichan Valley has to offer if you take the time to look.

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