With many local businesses across the province feeling the impact of COVID-19, buying local this Christmas is more important than ever.

The ninth annual BC Buy Local Week runs from November 30th to December 6th, with the goal of encouraging British Columbians to do their holiday spending at locally owned businesses.

LOCO BC, which coordinates the campaign, says small business leaders issued a “dire warning” that a majority of local businesses may be facing closure.

“Local businesses are just hanging on, and really need our support at this time,”  says founder and executive director Amy Robinson. “Retail sales this year have plummeted, while online shopping with multinationals has soared.”

Robinson says BC Buy Local Week is a great time to start shifting your shopping towards local businesses when making your holiday purchases.

CFIB BC finds only 64 per cent of businesses in the province are fully open following COVID-19 closures, with 41 per cent of businesses at or above normal staffing, and only 33 per cent at pre-COVID revenues.

“Independent businesses play a critical role in the health and vitality of our local communities,” says Colin Stansfield, executive director of the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization.

He says making the choice to buy local, either by shopping in stores, online or by purchasing gift cards through Support Local BC, is a meaningful way to invest in a speedy recovery.

As part of the BC Buy Local Week campaign, participating businesses will be promoting their locally owned businesses and locally made products with bright pink stickers, both online and in-store. They’ll also use the hashtags #BCBuyLocal and #7ways7days on social media.

For more details about BC Buy Local Week, click here.