Manitoba promoting safe local shopping amid new restrictions
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has launched a new digital campaign to encourage safe local shopping amid new public health orders.
Finance Minister Scott Fielding and Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler made the announcement on Friday, noting the campaign came as a recommendation from the premier’s economic opportunities advisory board.
“Our local businesses offer high quality products and services and they’re being creative and innovative in finding ways to provide them,” Eichler said.
“These businesses are our neighbours, our friends and they’ve been there for us. Now, we need to be there for them. Let’s support them and shop local this holiday season.”
The #ShopLocalMB campaign comes as the province has enhanced its restrictions and prohibited the in-person sale of non-essential items.
As part of the campaign, the province enlisted a local design company to tell the stories of Manitoba businesses, entrepreneurs, makers, and creators. The initiative will remind people how to shop safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes delivery, pickup, or drive-thru, and sticking to the fundamentals when in-person shopping is necessary.
Costa Cholakis, co-owner of Broadway Florists, said he appreciates all Manitobans who are supporting local and buying from local businesses during these challenging times.
“We’re very hopeful that the provincial government created this campaign #ShopLocalMB, it helps us out and many other local businesses throughout Manitoba,” he said.
“We appreciate all our loyal customers and with this campaign, this type of support will make a difference and allow us to continue on for years to come.”
Jonathan Alward, director of the prairie region for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), said this is extremely important especially as the holiday season approaches. He says traditionally this is the busiest time of year for business owners.
“It’s really a make-or-break season for them, and without individuals being able to go into these small businesses and buy non-essential items right now, it’s a really important reminder there are many other ways to support local,” said Alward.
Loren Remillard, president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, said when shoppers support local business, it is like supporting your neighbour and investing in the future.
“The more money that’s stays in Manitoba means we have more money for programs that government delivers,” he said. “And (it) really helps economic growth, because the growth of a company may just be the growth that provides your son or daughter their next job.”
The province will feature the #ShopLocalMB campaign on its social media channels.
Businesses who want to be featured in the campaign or Manitobans who want to nominate a business or creator can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.