Think Local Week kicks off

In response to Black Friday, an organization is encouraging Greater Victoria residents to shop local this week.

In response to Black Friday, an organization is encouraging Greater Victoria residents to shop local this week.

Beginning this Sunday, dozens of local stores will be participating in the fourth annual Think Local Week, sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op. As part of the online contest, customers can go to their favourite local shop, snap of photo of themselves and post it to the Think Local Victoria Facebook page’s photo contest or post it to Twitter @ThinkLocalFirstyyj to win prizes.

There will be more than $1,000 worth of prizes, including gift cards, from local businesses up for grabs every day.

It’s a contest that Gayle Robinson, owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store and president of Think Local First, said is successful year after year and one Victorians have embraced with open arms.

“If there was a city that loves to support its local businesses, it’s Victoria. You see the results of that when you see stores like Rogers’ Chocolate, Brown’s The Florist, and the Dutch Bakery, you can go on and on and you don’t even have to think about it. There’s so many iconic local businesses that have stood the test of time,” she said.

There are financial benefits to shopping locally, instead of heading to big box stores. Robinson said when a customer spends 10 per cent locally, roughly 25 per cent more stays here.

“That has a multiplier affect because local businesses tend to buy their supplies and services from other local businesses so that money turns two to three times in our economy,” she said. “Even if you spend 10 per cent of your money locally, it would make a significant difference in Victoria.”

Think Local Week is put on by Think Local First, a non-profit organization committed to strengthening local, independent businesses and helping consumers understand the benefits of shopping local. There are currently 180 members in Think Local First including Il terrazzo, Ivy’s Bookshop, Market on Yates, Nourish Kitchen and Cafe, Ocean River Sports, Peetz Outdoors Ltd., and Western Foods.

Think Local Week takes place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. For a full list of participating stores visit thinklocalvictoria.com.