Quesnel area residents are being encouraged to participate in ‘The Big Spend’ by shopping local on Saturday, July 25, as part of a national initiative to help small businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel residents encouraged to shop local Saturday, July 25

‘The Big Spend’ initiative hopes to help small business recovery from COVID-19

Quesnel area residents are being encouraged to shop local on Saturday, July 25 as part of The Big Spend, a national initiative aimed at helping businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

“It’s running across Canada and people are asked to just get out and spend at any local business and even for no reason,” said Kathy Somerville, manager of the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce.

“What they are trying to do is boost the economy in the Canadian markets and get people out realizing that they can shop safely in these businesses.”

Somerville first heard about the initiative through the Canadian Chamber and then it went to the B.C. Chamber about a month ago.

“We really got on board with this to see if we could encourage people to get out and spend. It’s such a simple thing.”

If people want to record what they spend on Saturday, they can add their names to the Big Spend list at thebigspendcom which will map spending across Canada that day and track the impact of the joint effort being made.

“It will show how many people are out and about spending money,” Somerville said.

READ MORE: National initiative encourages Canadians to support local

Buyers can also share a story or photo about where they made a purchase on Facebook or Instagram! Use hashtag #TheBigSpend or @TheBigSpend.

In Canada, local small businesses provide nearly 70 per cent of all private-sector jobs in Canada.

The goal of Saturday is to inject $100 million into the Canadian economy on this single day. Organizers say the day is meant to be more than a symbolic gesture of hope.

“It is a practical step we can take as part of a larger action plan for economic recovery in Canada. When we add the benefits of buying local to the positive impact of what economists call the “multiplier effect” we help create a snowball of growth for our communities, and our country,” said Tim Schindel, national director of Leading Influence and founder of The Big Spend campaign.”

Community organizations, chambers of commerce, churches and Canadians across the country will be part of this special effort to help kick start the Canadian economic recovery process.

Somerville has been the chamber manager for two years and before that ran a retail business in Quesnel for 34 years.

“I would love to see people get out and spend,” she said. “Just that little bit extra makes such a difference. We have really been trying to promote spending in your own community.”

If local businesses can get a boost, it will help.

The Quesnel area has been hit by fires, forestry downtown, closures of mills and all that is detrimental to the community, she added.

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