Penticton is home to amazing shops. This has been the toughest year of their lives and now it’s time for us to show local some love this holiday season. (courtesy of Unsplash)

Penticton is home to amazing shops. This has been the toughest year of their lives and now it’s time for us to show local some love this holiday season. (courtesy of Unsplash)

OPINION: Show local some love this Black Friday

Local businesses deserve our support this season

Are you like me and started decorating and thinking about Christmas early? As we enter into the ninth month of the global pandemic, with cases surging and new restrictions straining our mental health, we look for something cheerful to lift our spirits. That’s the magic of the holidays.

I’ve also started my Christmas shopping earlier this year, but with a focus to support local. Local board shops have the gear I want, a local graphic clothing designer is making me some custom hoodies. There are plenty of wine gift baskets to be bought, spa and local restaurant gift certificates, custom jewelry and art can all be found in the Okanagan. It’s fun to discover or rediscover all the unique shops and services we have in Penticton.

Spend your Black Friday and Christmas shopping dollars at local shops because as it has been pointed out, “buy local or bye-bye local.”

The owners of small businesses in Penticton are almost always family-run. They are our neighbours, our friends, contributors to our community. They’ve put their heart, soul and bank accounts into their businesses, so now it’s our turn to give back to them.

And, small businesses, unlike big-box retail, create the character of a town. Here in Penticton, a walk through our downtown, past bike and board shops, art galleries, designer clothing stores, breweries, funky eateries, bakeries and coffee shops give us that unique feel. We don’t want to lose that to empty storefronts and ‘for lease’ signs.

Even during this pandemic, the toughest time of our lives, local businesses are still finding a way to donate to charities. Evidence of that is seen by the outstanding items up for bidding in the Starfish Backpack online auction going on until Nov. 30.

Finding everything on your Christmas shopping list can be done locally from electronics to designer shoes and specialty items, spa treatments and tons of artisan products and foods. And now, thanks to Downtown Penticton, you can shop local and win big in their 24 days of Christmas shopping contest.

We also have some of the best independent restaurants.

We are the craft beer capital of Canada and have world-class wineries at our doorstep.

One way I have supported local (which benefits me greatly) is I only buy Okanagan wine and have so for several years. Shopping local lets you discover hidden treasures, your next favourite thing and one-of-a-kind products.

Just look at the amount of submissions to our Best of South Okanagan contest. where the best patios, coffee, burgers and beers, gyms, festivals and fruit stands were voted on in droves Pentictonites are loyal to the businesses that they love.

We at the Penticton Western News are committed to shopping locally and telling the stories of our local store owners. Show local some love this holiday. Buying local not only feels good, it’s just the right thing to do this holiday season.

Columnist