Vancouver, BC; December 4, 2020 – With the first weekend of December here and the holiday shopping season in full swing, Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Vancouver Coastal Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Patricia Daly encouraged residents to safely shop, dine, and drink local.
Capping off Buy Local Week, Mayor Stewart stressed how even small changes can add up to big support for our small businesses. “Local businesses are essential to our recovery, and if B.C. residents shifted just 10% of their purchasing to local shops, we could help create more than 14,000 jobs and keep over $4 billion in our local economies.”
Dr. Patricia Daly highlighted how well businesses have done in keeping their operations safe for customers. “The vast majority of businesses open to the public in Vancouver – including restaurants and retail outlets – have done an excellent job implementing COVID-19 safety plans, and as a result there is very little evidence of transmission in these settings.”
“With the holidays approaching and public health advising Vancouver residents to limit travel, it’s a great time to shop locally while adhering to the COVID safety plans retailers have put in place to keep everyone safe” said Dr. Daly.
Patricia Barnes representing the Vancouver BIA Partnership and LOCO BC notes that this week is Buy Local Week and is a great way to kick off the holiday season. “Our local businesses and restaurants are here to serve you and want you to know that every purchase at a local business will help their survival and the economic recovery of our beautiful City,” said Barnes. “We are here to serve you either in person, online or through take-out. Shop Safe Shop Local.”
Mayor Stewart also highlighted efforts he supports to provide economic and other relief for small businesses including:
- Pausing new single-use recycling fees for 2021 saving businesses implementation costs -- coming for a Council vote next week
- Ongoing efforts by the Mayor to get delivery app companies to reduce costs for restaurants and cafes providing takeout -- the newly re-elected government in Victoria made this an election promise
- Increasing street cleaning and sanitation services for the Downtown peninsula -- to be debated at Council on Dec. 8, as part of the Mayor’s efforts to focus the budget on pandemic response
- Pursuing funding to provide additional washroom trailers and maintain existing trailers, to improve street cleanliness and provide more options for homeless and under-sheltered residents -- Mayor working with Ottawa on share of federal Reaching Home fund for these
“The biggest impact however, will come from how we shop this holiday season,” said Mayor Stewart. “I will be giving my friends and family gift cards to local restaurants and shops, and I encourage everyone to head out--wearing their mask--and safely enjoy what these hard working businesses offer. From physical distancing, frequent sanitation, and curbside pickup, businesses are doing their part – we need to do ours.”