(Think Local First)

The seventh annual Think Local Week is underway as the holiday shopping season in Greater Victoria starts to heat up.

The goal of the event is to encourage more people to shop local and support the community.

“We achieve this goal in two parts; firstly, we educate our community on the benefits of spending their money with local suppliers, and secondly, we create an ongoing dynamic awareness of local businesses to help connect and engage them with their local audience,” Michèle Hamilton of Think Local First told Victoria Buzz.

Think Local Week, which runs from November 12-18, shines a spotlight on the local, independent businesses in our neighborhoods.

This is important all year round, but especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, followed by the holiday shopping season.

The 10% Shift

“If every family shifted 10% of their holiday (and year-round) spending to local, independent businesses, it would create dramatic, positive changes in our local economy as 2-3 times that amount keeps circulating,” according to the non-profit group.

This compounding effect is partly because these local businesses help employ many more people than you’ll see on the sales floor.

They’re more likely to bank and source locally, while employing other local businesses like accountants, graphic designers, sign-makers, webmasters, suppliers and many other high-skilled positions.

In turn, all these local businesses do the same thing. This domino effect is simply too good to ignore – all this from moving only 10% of the money you already spend to local businesses.

Given their investment in the business, local business owners also have an expertise that store managers at larger chains may not. Often, they’re personally responsible for selecting the merchandise and can offer insight into the manufacturer or tips on how to care for a product.

Their knowledge of the store also makes them excellent sources of advice on gifts for hard-to-please recipients. You may just find “thinking local” turns holiday shopping into a far more relaxing and enjoyable experience: one that rewards both you and your community.

Think Local First App

A key focus for Think Local First was to engage with local consumers at the point where they spend the bulk of their time discovering news and shopping – on their mobile phones.

In early 2017, the organization launched an app that features and promotes local businesses. Users can also collect points while they shop in Victoria.

“In an increasingly digital and mobile world, communities need to place a premium on presence,” said Tim Fry, President of 468 Communications, the developer of the app. “The Think Local First app creates incentives around presence, which will ultimately reward visitors and residents for investing in the local economy.”

The message is “think local first and shop local when you can”. It’s the local businesses in our communities that play a huge role in making Greater Victoria a place folks want to visit.

PRIZE

Think Local wants to treat you to some goodies with a $955 prize pack from local businesses that includes a:

$100 Country Grocer gift card
$100 gift card for the Vitamin Shop
$60 i.O.N. Clothing gift card
$100 Robinson’s Outdoor Store gift card
$50 gift card to Women in Need
$100 Spinnakers gift card
$50 gift card from Vessel Liquor
$25 gift card from Monk Office – plus a journal and reusable bag
$50 gift card from Mayfair Optometric
$40 Leather Care Kit from Dodd’s Furniture
$50 Buddies Toys gift card
$180 Wilson’s Transportation 4 x Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing passes and two mugs
$50 gift card to Clives or Vista 18 at Chateau Victoria
$100 gift card to Peninsula Co-op
$25 gift card to Sports Rent

Contest Closed – winner: Jenn Langejan! 

To enter for your chances to win the $905 prize pack, do at least one of the following:

1 – Download the Think Local app to your phone and leave a comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)

2 – LIKE Think Local on Facebook and leave a comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted from time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm PST on November 18, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they enter by.

Think Local Week

When: November 12 to 18
Where: Business around Greater Victoria – View directory

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