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This is the time of year when a special kind of magic springs up all over Powell River. The holidays are when the community comes together to make the holidays memorable for people of all ages. Christmas gift giving is something many look forward to. There is something about the look on a loved one's face when you give them a truly special gift. Even though there is the temptation to buy gifts either online or when visiting bigger urban centres, shopping local gives an important gift to Powell River businesses.

As the shop local movement has accelerated, more and more people are choosing to support the people in their town that have decided to open their own businesses, and as support grows so does the market and appetite for local products and businesses.

When Erik Blaney, owner of the Tla'amin Convenience Store and I’hos Cultural Tours, was preparing to open the doors of the Convenience Store, he said he was overwhelmed by the response of locals.

Tla'amin Convenience Store

“I love the support that the community gives when they know a local is starting a new business,” said Blaney. “All of the cards, salutations, honks and waves were a real treat as we were preparing for our opening of the store.”

Forbes.com said one of the biggest reasons why people should shop local is because “customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses.” Because local entrepreneurs rely on their community for the success of their business, the experience customers get from a small business can be much difference. The biggest marketing investment a local business owner can make is into customer care and making sure each person that steps into their business has a positive experience, which means they will tell others about it. Powell River business owners know how important this relationship is.

Townsite Brewing

“All sports teams think they have the worlds best fans,” said Chloe Smith, one of the owners of Townsite Brewing. “Coming from Saskatchewan and having lived in Montreal I can say with absolute certainty that Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Canadians fan are the most devoted in the world. After three years in business I now count Powell Riverites amongst that list. If you do what you do well, this town will support the hell out of you.”

Shopping local doesn't just mean rallying behind a product or business, it also means helping to grow and support the local economy and the initiatives that help it grow. Another reason Forbes.com listed for shopping local, is that small businesses are often more likely to give back to their community. Townsite Brewery is one of many Powell River businesses who does just that by donating a portion of the growler sales each month to a local project.

“Local spending supports local entrepreneurs, and jobs while ensuring a vibrant and healthy economy,” said Scott Randolph, Manager of economic development for the City of Powell River. “Dollars spent locally also help to support many cultural, sports and non-profit agencies as Powell River businesses are quite often the largest supporters of community based programs. This of course helps to support the excellent quality of life that all residents enjoy and attracts new residents to our shores.”

For a list of some of the great businesses in Powell River visit the Chamber of Commerce.

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