FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce announced they will be getting $40,100 from the BC Chamber of Commerce to support shopping local.

In Dawson Creek, the Chamber is getting $50,000 to support its existing shop local program called “Keep Calm and Shop On”.

The federal government invested $5 million towards initiatives encouraging people to shop local, and, in total, 88 applications across the province were accepted.

“Through the pandemic, small- and medium-sized businesses across the province have worked hard to keep their doors open, and provide goods and services in their communities,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s been an emotionally and financially draining time for many of these business owners, and that’s why the BC Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be working with the federal government to deliver the innovative Shop Local program in British Columbia and support local businesses across the province.”

Executive Director, Cheryl Montgomery, applied for the funding that would fulfill two major components of the project.

“We felt it was important to provide an opportunity for businesses to participate and engage with the community,” said Montgomery. “And we also felt strongly that we wanted to think long-term about how to educate and influence youth about the importance of shopping local as they become consumers.”

The two components are the Shop Local Coupon Book and the School District Shop Local Education Module.

The coupon book would be available to local and regional businesses to provide sales, discounts and value-added benefits on goods and services. Coupon books would be distributed through the Chamber, local businesses and School District 60.

The Chamber and School District 60 will partner to create an education module to present to Grade 5-8 students to help them understand the full cycle of spending locally, and how it impacts businesses, sport and youth programs and sponsorship investment. The module would give an age-appropriate lesson about local economies and investment in the community.

“School District 60 is very grateful for the ongoing support we have received from the community. We look forward to collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce to promote and educate when it comes to the benefits of shopping local,” said School District 60 Superintendent, Stephen Petrucci.