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Victoria chamber picking up the cost of shipping for members until Dec. 25

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce will fund as much as $50,000 to entice local shopping
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce will pick up the shipping for more than 100 member businesses up until Black Friday. (Black Press Media file photo)

From today until Dec. 25, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce will cover the cost of shipping for goods purchased from member businesses using member courier services.

“In an effort to help people choose to shop at Greater Victoria retailers this holiday season, the chamber is putting our money where our mouth is and paying the cost of shipping,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said in a press release. “We all benefit from a strong regional economy and it’s up to each of us to do our part to help with the ongoing recovery.”

The initiative – during which the chamber will shoulder as much as $50,000, Williams told Black Press Media – will apply to about 100-plus businesses that hold membership with the chamber (full list here), and will be facilitated with Maximum Express Courier and Freight, with whom the chamber has a “long-standing relationship,” Williams said.

“We just want to make it possible for people to shop with a local company – something that you might buy online with another large platform, who claim to have free delivery even though that cost is built into what they charge you,” he said. “We are now literally doing free delivery. We’re going to pay for it. If a company is a chamber member, they can make their order and we will pay the courier on their behalf.”

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After having residents of Victoria shop local, Williams said the chamber would like to teach them to understand what shopping local means. “Through #ChamberLocalVicBC, we have local business owners explaining why they’re local,” Williams said. Buying with them, “you buy something from a small operator whose family lives here, pays taxes, supports minor sports and stuff like that.”

A recent survey from the Retail Council of Canada also showed that Canadians are feeling more optimistic about their finances this year compared to last, which the chamber is hoping to capitalize on, according to their release.

A full list of participating retailers is available on the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce website.

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