Look for local gifts this year for the holidays. (Metro Creative photo)

Look for local gifts this year for the holidays. (Metro Creative photo)

Editorial: Support local businesses this holiday season

It’s very appropriate that this is B.C. Buy Local Week.

If you’re like a lot of us, you’ve already started looking around for the perfect holiday gifts for your friends and family. With all of the transportation woes that abound right now because of November’s record flooding, it makes more sense than ever to look first to our local businesses.

So it’s very appropriate that this is B.C. Buy Local Week.

In the big picture, buying locally helps our communities as a whole thrive. Research shows that for every $100 spent at a local business in B.C., $63 is recirculated back into the provincial economy, compared to just $14 for a multinational corporation.

That means jobs and prosperity for our friends, neighbours and families.

If you’ve never looked around at what the Cowichan Valley has to offer for the discerning gift-giver now is the time.

And yes, that even applies to those who prefer to do their shopping online. According to bcbuylocal.com, Canadians spend $4 billion a month online, with $2 out of every $3 spent going to a U.S. multinational company. So why not take a look at the websites of some of our local Cowichan businesses first? You may be pleasantly surprised.

We think you’ll find that local retailers are great places to find unique gifts you can’t find elsewhere.

If stuff isn’t what you’re looking for (we all know that person who has everything) you can try getting someone an experience like a massage, manicure, restaurant meal or tickets to a show. Tourists to our area have known for some time that our local services and experiences are world-class.

Speaking of what to put on the table, or bring to your holiday party as a gift, bcbuylocal.com also notes that B.C. has the most local distilleries in Canada (with a number in Cowichan to choose from for the hyper-local touch), 191 breweries and 369 wineries. Cowichan, of course, was recently made its own distinct wine region, and every bottle of wine made in B.C. creates $42 of economic impact. So both your tastebuds and your community will thank you for thinking local.

And the list goes on — from books to gift cards, clothing to cosmetics, Cowichan has a lot to offer.

B.C. Buy Local Week encourages people to shift just one per cent of their average holiday spending of $1,600 per person (travel, food, drinks, gifts) to local businesses.

Considering that’s just $15 it shouldn’t be hard. We think we can do better.