Holiday gift giving should be impactful. Not just to your recipient, but also to where you can contribute to the growth and health of the community—your Downtown Squamish businesses.
This year, instead of purchasing from big-box retailers or the online marketplace giant (you know who), the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association (DSBIA) encourages you to revel in the spirit of the season by celebrating "Shop Small, Shop Merry," a hyperlocal shopping experience where you can engage in more meaningful, unique and sustainable holiday buying.
"Supporting local businesses, especially during the holiday season, helps maintain and enhance the local economy and contribute to a positive holiday atmosphere in Downtown Squamish," says Kerry Neil, executive director, DSBIA.
Downtown Squamish is beloved by residents who know their shops, cafes and services intimately—a must-visit for those who don't—for a personalized and attentive shopping experience.
Neil points out, "Shopping locally fosters a sense of community and connection. It provides opportunities for face-to-face interactions, building relationships between customers and local business owners. It allows people to patronize these merchants throughout the year and have that connection with them."
Something for everyone
"This campaign is making everyone—not just local residents—realize what there is in Downtown Squamish," explains Neil. "There are amazing things to buy for the foodies in your life, the health and wellness enthusiasts, as well as, one-of-a-kind gift items—it's all here!"
Look for bakeries and gourmet food, like Sunflower Bakery Café, whose family baked goods, like their scrumptious pastries and cookies, will be a big hit at your holiday meal, and Cleveland Meats who bring premium locally raised meats and poultry to your tables. There's also numerous restaurants and cafes where you'll find flavours for every taste bud to savour the season, with gift cards, too.
The holidays and chocolate go hand-in-hand, so you're sure to find some decadent treats, all locally made, at XOCO Westcoast Chocolate.
Gift ideas are plentiful when you shop gently used goods at the non-profit social enterprise Pearl’s Value & Vintage, where your purchase helps support PearlsSpace's programs and services. Squamish Community Bookstore also sells second-hand: from quirky books and bestsellers to literary masterpieces. You should also visit Random & Co. for that new holiday wardrobe!
For unique finds or to deck your own halls with holiday floral and greenery, visit Billies House, and the new Fleurescent Blooms + Rentals. You can expect shops with the trendiest lifestyle products, eclectic clothing and jewellery, and for the youngins on your list, look to Kaos Kids, and The Little Bookshop.
"Local shop owners and staff may have a deeper knowledge of their products and can offer personalized recommendations, creating a more enjoyable and customer-centric shopping experience," reveals Neil.
There's a solid selection for the outdoor gear aficionados at Climb on Equipment, and for both the newbie or die-hard angler, look to Coop’s Bait & Tackle.
You'll find a handful of health and personalized wellness shops, too, such as Be Clean Naturally, offering low impact goods and refillable home & body products, all made in Squamish.
Don’t forget to put yourself on the list and treat yourself to a staycation, or gift a magical escape to one of downtown Squamish’s unforgettable hotels, like The Crash Hotel Squamish.
Environmental and economic impacts
"Buying from local businesses can have a lower environmental impact compared to purchasing from large, distant retailers," informs Neil.
"Local products typically involve shorter transportation distances, reducing carbon emissions associated with shipping. Additionally, local businesses may be more inclined to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly practices."
So, this year, consider leaving a present under the tree for that special someone that makes them feel just as good as the good you’re doing in the local community by shopping locally.
"Shopping locally is an investment in the well-being of Squamish," says Neil. "Local business owners and employees are more likely to spend their earnings locally, creating a positive economic cycle that benefits the entire community."
"Be a part of the holiday season and let's come together to celebrate. Support the businesses that make Squamish special."
For more information, visit downtownsquamish.com.