From left: Colleen Sparrow (Peninsula Co-op) and Paul Hadfield (Think Local First) introduce Think Local Week at Victoria City Hall Friday morning. Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS

Businesses say shop local this week

Think Local Week highlights local business ahead of Black Friday

Before heading out in search of holiday gifts, a group of local business owners hope Victorians skip the online checkout and shop in town.

Local business owners and leaders met in the foyer of City Hall Friday morning to announce Think Local Week from Monday Nov. 13 to Sunday Nov. 19 ahead of Black Friday (Nov. 24) and the following “Cyber” Monday.

Paul Hadfield, president of Think Local First which represents more than 200 local companies, said the campaign is a pushback against globalized online economic activity, and he wants people in Victoria to consider alternatives and explore what local businesses have to offer that they cannot find online.

“We as a community bring forth diversity, unique shopping, entertainment, food and beverage, experiences for people, that are quite simply unlike what the multinationals, what the globalized [companies] bring to us,” he said.

RELATED: Think Local First celebrates five years

Catherine Hold, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said local businesses provide employment, property taxation, the opportunity for tourism, and an enjoyable downtown area.

“If you don’t have local business, you don’t have a city,” she said. “That’s what makes a city. It makes it worth living in, and it keeps it lively and interesting and exciting.”

Think Local First launched an app earlier this year where users can collect points while they shop in Victoria.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

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