What happened to this year? Seriously?! It’s December already, and that means ski season is kicking off. It also means the holiday season is upon us – a critical time of year for our local businesses. Some retail businesses can make up to 25-30% of their annual gross revenue for the year during the holiday shopping period. After another challenging year, Fernie businesses are looking forward to this holiday boost.

But the pandemic has dramatically accelerated online shopping trends and more consumers than ever are doing their holiday shopping on large e-commerce platforms like Amazon. The Fernie Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging everyone in our community to commit to shopping local these holidays with the #SpendItInFernie campaign. The reasons for shopping local are many, but if you’re looking for that extra push to embrace Fernie businesses for your holiday shopping needs – I got you covered!

Here are my top seven reasons to #SpendItInFernie these holidays by shopping local:

1. Supply chain issues – You’ve read it all over the news and seen the photos of dozens of cargo ships sitting off the west coast of the USA waiting to unload goods. Supply chain issues are real these holidays, and there is no guarantee you’ll get that Amazon gift delivered in time. Shop local and save the stress of refreshing your shipment tracking status every five minutes on Christmas Eve!
2. Better customer service – Most local business owners and staff do what they do because they are passionate about their offering. They will spend the time with you to get the perfect gift, are super knowledgeable about their products, and will go the extra mile that a faceless algorithm simply cannot. 
3. Locally-sourced, one-of-a-kind gifts – Local businesses often sell locally-made products that are unique and exclusive to Fernie. And they support local makers and producers!
4. Support for community groups –According to research by LOCO BC, local businesses provide 25 times more support to local community groups and charities compared to multinational organizations. Buy a gift locally and it may well end up supporting your kid’s sporting team!
5. Creates local jobs – Supporting local businesses means supporting the staff that power them. The more successful local businesses become, the more local jobs are created in our community.
6. Better for the environment – Think of all the packaging and transportation emissions involved in getting each of your packages from an Amazon fulfillment warehouse in Delaware, USA or some far-flung country to here in Fernie. Shopping locally can be better for our community and the environment. 
7. Keep money circulating locally – This is the big one. According to the same LOCO BC study, for every$100 spent with a local BC business, $63 is re-circulated back into our BC economy (vs $14 for multinational corporations). Local businesses are more likely to buy from other local businesses and contribute to a strong commercial tax base that is reinvested into our community.