The Women in Need Community Co-operative in Langford is one of many Greater Victoria businesses participating in Think Local Week starting on Nov. 27. Pictured are Clare Yazganoglu

The Women in Need Community Co-operative in Langford is one of many Greater Victoria businesses participating in Think Local Week starting on Nov. 27. Pictured are Clare Yazganoglu

Think Local Week encourages support for area businesses

Variety of West Shore merchants part of the Think Local First organization

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

Beginning this Sunday (Nov. 27), dozens of local stores, including a number on the West Shore, are 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 a photo of themselves and post it to the Think Local Victoria Facebook page or on Twitter @ThinkLocalFirstyyj to win prizes.

More than $1,000 worth of prizes will be given away, with 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,” she said. “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.”

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, she added.

“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. 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, with those on the West Shore including Victoria Women in Need (WIN), DFH Real Estate, Frontrunners Footwear, Western Foods, Capital Iron and others.

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

editor@goldstreamgazette.com