Flori Chaykowski of the Chamber of Commerce. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Flori Chaykowski of the Chamber of Commerce. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Shopping local more important than ever: Chamber

Pandemic putting small businesses in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at risk

Shop local is a typical annual Chamber of Commerce campaign, but it has been given heightened importance during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

Entrepreneurs in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are fighting for to keep their small businesses from going under, explains Flori Chaykowski, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce serving the two cities.

“The dollars need to stay here and support the local economy, especially with the downturn,” she said.

https://www.facebook.com/RidgeMeadowsChamber/photos/a.309880345740588/3593587450703178/

The number of COVID cases are increasing exponentially. If there is another shutdown, some local businesses won’t reopen, she said.

There is anxiety among business owners. Already, the number of cases are worse than the statistics that closed the province during the first shutdown. That closure of all non-essential businesses early in 2020 was devastating for many shops, and the economy overall, but Chaykowski said she was impressed with how local business people adapted to keep some revenue coming in .

Now, B.C. is coming off its worst-ever weekend since the pandemic began, with 2,364 new cases of COVID-19 and 46 people having died of the disease.

READ ALSO: B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic

As the provincial government grapples with the rising tide of cases, businesses fear they will be forced to close again – and just before Christmas. Some businesses do up to 40 per cent of their sales during the Christmas season.

“If we go into another lockdown, some will be in real trouble,” said Chaykowski.

Buy Local week is Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 across the province. She asks that Christmas shoppers and others stay in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and not just for retail, but also for services and dining out.

“They all need your support, especially restaurants, because they operate on such low margins,” said Chaykowski.

The non-profit organization Loco B.C. was formed to promote shopping local this holiday season.

It promotes the idea that if BC Consumers shift 10 per cent of spending to local businesses, as opposed to multinationals, it will create more than 14,000 jobs and send $4.5 billion into the BC economy.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BusinessCoronavirusmaple ridgePitt Meadows

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

Just Posted

First time author Stacey Chomiak is releasing Still Stace in October, 2021. (Special to The News)
First time Maple Ridge author illustrates and writes about reconciling her faith and sexuality

Stacey Chomiak is branching out from a successful career in animation

The speculation and vacancy tax declaration must be filled out by the end of March. (The News files)
SVT declaration packages en route to homeowners in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

A penalty will apply to those, not exempted, who don’t pay by due date

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure at Westview in Maple Ridge

Third high school reporting virus in 2021

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

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

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read