The Battle of the Businesses Squamish will resume this November and is aiming to be the biggest fundraiser yet.
The annual fundraiser is a competition between businesses in town to see which can raise the most money for Community Christmas Care. After starting in 2017 as a small event thrown at the restaurant Sunny Chibas, the fundraiser boasted 21 local businesses in 2021 and raised nearly $42,000.
This year, founders Diana Frederickson and Melanie Bradley are looking to up the number of companies involved and the amount of money raised.
"We would love to see 30," said Frederickson of the number of businesses. "30 would be awesome. No matter what kind of business either."
As for the amount they want to raise, each year there's a goal and a stretch goal, said Bradley.
"I would say our goal is $75,000. That's a stretch goal," said Frederickson. "So I would say $55 [thousand] would be amazing."
Each year, the friendly competition has increased in the amount of money raised from $6,000 at the very beginning to last year's high mark. The money goes toward Christmas Community Care, which helps provide gift-wrapped food and toys to people and families that may need an extra boost during the holiday season.
This year, Bradley said they are already organizing more ways for the money raised to be filtered back into the community.
"We're also going to ... get some gift certificates from local businesses that can be included in the hampers," she said. "So that the money is staying in town and not all going to one place."
Another aspect Bradley said they're adding is community-wide raffle prizes. Right now, they've already had several vendors commit to donating outdoor gear, jewelry and a weekend away vacation, with potentially some more prizes in the works.
Overall, both Frederickson and Bradley expressed gratitude that the fundraiser has grown so much and that many businesses are willing to help.
"It's actually surreal. Going from six businesses to 21 businesses is absolutely amazing," said Frederickson.
"It's amazing to see this community in action and how they show up," said Bradley. "I've been moved by so many different things like the creativity of all these businesses that have come on board, even the ones who had ideas about what they were going to do and then had to pivot."
Ultimately, Frederickson said that shining a light on the positivity that Community Christmas Care brings is the best part.
"Meeting so many people who had no idea what Community Christmas care was or what they do for the community is actually the biggest and best part about it," she said. "Community Christmas Care really helps a lot of families and bringing the awareness to that is more important than the money."
For more information about the Battle of the Businesses Squamish, visit its Facebook or Instagram pages. If any businesses are interested in joining this year, Bradley said to send them a message on Instagram.
"It's never too late to join in any amount," said Frederickson.
For more information on Community Christmas Care, including hamper applications, registering a business, or ways to donate or volunteer, visit CommunityChristmasCare.com.
*Please note that we updated this story after we first posted it to explain more clearly what the competition is.