British Columbians are working to build healthy communities by supporting the Shop Local initiative across the province. Partnered with the federal government, the BC Chamber of Commerce received 88 applications from local businesses seeking over $5 million to support Shop Local initiatives.“It’s been an emotionally and financially draining time for many of these business owners, and that’s why the BC Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be working with the federal government to deliver the innovative Shop Local program in British Columbia and support local businesses across the province.” says Fiona Famulak, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce.
The Shop Local initiative is a federal government program that is provided by provincial and territorial chambers of commerce. The program encourages Canadians to support local businesses in efforts to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic over the past two years.
Shop Local was first launched on November 1, 2021 with applications processed as first-come, first-serve through December 10th, 2021. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is working in conjunction with the BC Chamber of Commerce to process the applications. Successful Applications are to receive funding on an ongoing basis until December 31, 2021. All successful applicants are required to complete their campaign by February 15, 2022.Fiona Famulak is “happy to say that the program has been a huge success in British Columbia. Stating that they have reached their goal of $5 million, proving testament to the support that British Columbians have for their local businesses.In addition, The BC Chamber of Commerce is ensuring that the program is inclusive. The funds are being shared equally through the following economic regions:
- North Coast/Nechako
- Vancouver Island/Coast
Consumers and Businesses can track the Shop Local initiatives that are being implemented in their local communities via this interactive map. Some proposed Shop Local program examples include the following:
- Black Business Association of BC Leading the development of an online black owned marketplace and directory to host and promote cultural events and black owned business in BC.
- Dine Around BC An all age multi-day culinary experience led by the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. This is expected to be province-wide.
- Keep Calm and Shop On Dawson Creek is planning on creating an online trade show for local businesses, ranchers and farmers.
- Pitt Meadows Proud Customers may purchase gift certificates for local / independent businesses.
- Shop Local Sundays A Summerland Winter Experience on Sundays with all age activities and giveaways for local businesses.
Discover more of the great Shop Local BC projects that are being carried out throughout the province using the Shop Local BC interactive map.
Though the program is now closed to applicants, we are thrilled to see the BC Chamber secure funding to help our local businesses. We expect that locals will get to experience some of the Shop Local initiatives that will be going on through the new year. And we hope to see more initiatives like these in the future as we face new challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.