Thinking local is the future for Victoria, said mayor-elect Lisa Helps at the launch of Think Local Week.
Think Local Week kicked off on Monday, Dec. 1 and runs through to Dec. 7.
“Once upon a time, this city was all local businesses; and going forward, we’re seeing a return to local,” said Helps.
Think Local Week is hosted by Think Local First Victoria, an initiative consisting of Greater Victoria business owners that encourages residents to shop at local businesses.
“What’s really thrilling about the Think Local movement is that it’s coming from the businesses themselves. And more than that, it’s coming from their customers,” said Helps. “I don’t think people in Victoria should care, I think people in Victoria do care; and that’s why we see the emergence of the Think Local First movement.”
Think Local Week is a chance to recognize local businesses and the role they play, said Gayle Robinson, president of Think Local First Victoria and owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store.
“It is a celebration of independent businesses in Victoria, and the difference they make to our community.”
Robinson said Think Local Week also aims to educate the public on the benefits of shopping local.
“If you can spend 10 per cent of your money locally when it makes sense for you, you make a huge difference to Victoria,” said Robinson. “When you spend 10 per cent of your money locally, 25 per cent more stays in Victoria.”
JC Scott, owner of JC Scott Eco Design Associates, said he thinks local by buying materials for his projects from local businesses.
“When we support a local business, we support our local economy.”
Throughout this week, Think Local First will be giving away $1,000 worth of gift cards via social media.