A mostly empty sidewalk on Kelowna's usually-busy Bernard Avenue on May 13, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Support local this season: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Executive director Dan Rogers is encouraging residents to support local businesses this Christmas

With the holiday season around the corner in the midst of a global pandemic, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is encouraging residents to keep supporting local businesses as they start to think about Christmas purchases.

Dan Rogers, the chamber’s executive director, said small businesses are feeling nervous and anxious as Black Friday and the holiday season roll around.

“It’s a combination of the impact of the pandemic over most of the past year, the fact that margins are always pretty tight and there are questions as to how much people will be spending this winter and exactly where they’ll be spending that money,” he said.

“Will people stay home and shop online with big retailers from the U.S.? Or will they look at investing their money locally?”

He said the chamber is concerned that residents will want to shop online and internationally as Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals come up, which is why they’re working on their messaging and campaigns to encourage more residents to keep supporting small local businesses.

“Even if you’re online, look for a local option… there’s a tremendous amount of value if you look to shop locally because that puts money into local business owners, which enables them to employ locals who could be your next-door neighbour. That money puts food on the table at a critical time.”

“It creates employment and economic wealth that helps keep the community going so now more than ever, it’s important that people think about where they’re spending their money whether they’re buying online or looking to do something in person,” he said.

Rogers added this can mean buying gift certificates to local retailers and restaurants as a holiday present for a loved one or even checking up on owners and asking what you can do to help them.

He said that overall, the pandemic has produced a mixed bag of results for small businesses in Kelowna.

“There are two sides to this coin. Some businesses continue to struggle, some more than others depending on the sector they’re in. But we’re also seeing some great stories of resilience,” he said.

“Some of them have reshaped their businesses and their business models, adjusting how they engage with their customers in a very rapid fashion. They’ve stepped up to the plate and are hitting it out of the ballpark.”

For a directory of Kelowna businesses, their hours of operation as well as online purchasing options, visit the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce website.

READ: Police called to Kelowna Costco after patron refuses to wear mask


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed by Interior Health at Rutland Senior Secondary Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed at Rutland Senior Secondary

Interior Health lists possible exposure dates as Nov. 23-25, 27

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of Kelowna social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders nothing short of ‘complete depravity’

(City of West Kelowna)
Large West Kelowna housing development back on the table

Council considering rezoning to accommodate 184 housing units, project hopes for ~933 by completion

Kelowna videographer Noah van der Eerden details why he thinks Kelowna is the best city in his video. (Noah van der Eerden - YouTube)
Videographer shows off Kelowna’s beautiful sights in heartfelt video

Noah van der Eerden moved to Kelowna from Vancouver two years ago

Children wait using physical distancing after getting their pictures taken at picture day at St. Barnabas Catholic School during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Update: COVID-19 cases confirmed at more Kelowna schools

Interior Health announced a case has been confirmed at Chute Lake Elementary

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus are spearheading a project which hopes to improve the mental health of seniors living in rural B.C. communities. (Unsplash.com image)
UBCO researchers interview caregivers for rural adults’ mental health concern

The researchers are looking for participants who live or have relatives in rural communities

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that's ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov | AFP)
WEB POLL: Will you take a vaccine for COVID-19?

Doses are expected to arrive in the new year

Travis Hirlaka, Vernon
PHOTOS: Sunrise paints Okanagan skies

Residents in the Okanagan captured stunning shots of a colourful start to Saturday

Staff and students at Vernon’s Fulton Secondary School were evacuated due to an electrical short that sent one person to hospital Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Vernon high school evacuated, one person injured by electrical short

Incident at Clarence Fulton Secondary forced brief evacuation Friday afternoon

Two Canadian petitions are asking to have elected officials removed from office. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process

Online petitions from third-party sources have taken aim at elected officials in Canada

Chinook salmon spawning in the Fraser River near Tete Jeune Cache. ((Shane Kalyn photo, property of the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance)
North-Okanagan Shuswap MP petitions government to reform salmon management

Mel Arnold tables petition to allow more angler access to non-threatened Fraser River chinook salmon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shuswap Cider Company has applied for a licence that would accommodate a cider manufacturing facility, a tasting room and patio/lounge area at Westgate Market in Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Cider manufacturing facilty, tasting room and patio proposed for Salmon Arm

Council asked to raise a virtual glass to a licence for a cidery and amenities in Westgate Mall

Most Read