As the shopping season changes for the run-up to the holiday season while the province’s public health advisories regarding the COVID-19 pandemic become more stringent, local shoppers are being encouraged to continue supporting local businesses in Prince George.
“Our community is really good at supporting local businesses and have continued to try and do so. But we want to remind them to try and keep that up,” says Christina Doll, a Support PG partner.
In addition to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on hours of operation, what has made the support more critical this year is the economic investment many local businesses have had to make in not only ensuring their shops are equipped with plexi-glass barriers and hand sanitizer to keep staff and customers safe but the increased economic risk of investing in stock to meet an unsure demand from Christmas shoppers.
“The danger there is if there is a lock-down and a lack of people shopping this year, it could really hurt the bottom line of many local businesses,” says Melissa Barcellos, a Support PG partner. “They have had to pre-order their stock well in advance, which represents a lot of risk. So, we want to do what we can to drive customer traffic to the local stores.”
“There’s also a lot of home-based businesses that rely on the holiday season—crafters who make products they’d normally sell at craft fairs, which are not happening this year,” Doll adds.
“And the urge could be there to do all of the shopping online from big suppliers, but we think it’s important to shop local as much as possible because our small businesses, especially, will be feeling the impact if they don’t continue getting support through the holiday season.”
Thankfully, many local businesses have adapted, providing customers with a variety of ways to serve them, other than through in-person shopping.
“Many local stores now offer online shopping options as well as curbside pick-up and delivery. There are options,” Barcellos says.
Plus, the Support PG website (supportpg.ca) is continuing to offer a directory of local businesses listing the different ways they can be accessed.
And if you are looking for a unique way to discover more about your own backyard, and support the local service and tourism sectors, the Support PG website features a “staycation” section with a variety of options to enjoy what Prince George has to offer, whether it’s a girls’ night out or outdoor adventure.
“They have really great activities, coupled with a stay in a local hotel. It’s a unique opportunity to explore your home community in a different way, even though you can’t get away during the holidays,” Doll says.
For more about how you can help your local business community, visit supportpg.ca.