After the first-ever Canada United Weekend, which is a national campaign to promote shopping locally, the feedback to the North Bay District Chamber of Commerce has been positive.
Peter Chirico, President and CEO of the Chamber, thinks the weekend was a success for businesses in North Bay.
“A lot of anecdotal from the businesses said they were extremely busy over the weekend,” he said. “A huge success.”
Canada United Weekend was officially declared in North Bay by Mayor Al McDonald in early August. It was an initiative put forth by Chambers of Commerce across the country.
“The message of shopping local, keeping it Canadian every day in what we do, and every way that we can and supporting the small businesses in the community that gives back when they can,” Chirico said.
Chirico says the heightened awareness of shopping local has also changed the way in which some local businesses are running.
“I had one large retailer that said that they are trying to source everything they can that they used to get offshore, back to Canada now,” he explained.
Chirico adds that the businesses that take Canada United Weekend’s message to heart will be benefited the most down the road.
“Certainly those who jump on board I think will be the ones who will be successful in the future. I do believe that the mindset is changing to shop local versus picking up the computer,” he said.
Following the weekend, Canada United is also offering grants to small businesses that opened on August 31. The partnership which is a partnership between Chambers of Commerce, banks, and multiple levels of government plans to supply up to $5,000 in relief for small businesses who are recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
Applications for small businesses can be found at https://www.gocanadaunited.ca/