A Vernon business displays a sign designed to make you think about shopping local. (Big Sun Beachwear and Tanning)

Giving made easy in the Okanagan

AT RANDOM: So many ways to help those less fortunate, as well as our neighbours struggling amid COVID-19

If there’s one thing that hasn’t been lost on our community throughout this pandemic, it’s the giving spirit.

Residents of the North Okanagan continue to come together to support each other, whether it’s sending presents to lonely seniors or helping a family who lost their home in a fire.

And 2020 is no exception. With businesses struggling to keep their doors open, the community is stepping up to shop and eat local at every opportunity, while still making room to give to charities.

Many local businesses are making it easy to do both.

Like Rosters, for example, buy a gift card and they’ll donate to the Upper Room Mission and the Starfish Backpack program. Brown’s Social House also did the same on Sunday, Dec. 6, where diners got a discount for bringing in a new toy. Trade a can of food for a free coffee at Bean to Cup. Or if you are struggling to stock your shelves this time of year, the Fig Bistro has a table of free food those in need and their pets.

These are just a few of the little additives businesses are sprinkling into the season of giving.

So it’s our turn to give back.

Big Sun Beachwear and Tanning used to have a great sign outside their 27th Street store which read: “Amazon’s gonna be just fine guys! Shop your local stores online and be a hero!”

Sorry Jeff, but we gotta remind the people that lots of us little guys opened online stores recently, and we have lots…

Posted by Big Sun on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It’s a stark reminder that our spending habits can have a direct impact.

And when we spend local, we support local.

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce GM Dan Proulx also recently made a plea to residents to vote Vernon with their dollars.

“Every dollar spent locally in Vernon is a vote for this community to succeed. Adversely every dollar spent elsewhere is a vote against,” Proulx said. “Vernon needs your vote.”

That rings true for the entire Okanagan.

Don’t feel bad if you are an Amazon addict. I know how addicting online shopping can be.

But next time you’re about to checkout with your virtual shopping cart, take a second look at where you’re spending your money.

Is it an item you could just as easily purchase from a local shop, especially now that most of them have moved to provide online shopping too?

For most of us, it’s just about changing our habits slightly and removing yourself from the comfort of the Amazon account and perhaps Googling what shops in downtown Vernon have online shopping.

Or if you’re like me and really don’t like to shop for anything online, there is still the option to visit these stores (and with new free pickup parking spots on 30th Avenue).

But that option might not be there tomorrow if we continue to pool our resources elsewhere today.

So now, more than ever before, it really is time for us to put our money where our mouth is and vote for our local businesses.

READ MORE: Artsolutely makes shopping local easy in Vernon

READ MORE: Small businesses hurt by federal COVID-19 response: North Okanagan-Shuswap MP


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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