We can make our community a shopping destination

A recent promo from Moosomin should make us think about our own Shop Local campaign. Nothing brings home the value of the slogan Shop Local like the quarantines, restrictions on travel, and demands for masking seen this year. And we have a great local shopping opportunity right here on home turf.

Coming up this Christmas Season is a Virden Santa Cruise at the end of November. Also, watch for other initiatives to make local shopping fun, such as Plaid Friday in November.

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Just think back to the end of March when there were signs up at the Saskatchewan border advising:  Anyone returning from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days (www.empireadvance.ca/news/local-news/highway-checkpoint-being-set-up-west-of-virden-1.24107678)

God forbid that happens again. But consider what we have, locally, within Elkhorn, Virden and Reston as well as our other small centres. We are a short drive or even a few blocks from stores with unique and interesting Holiday fare. Local artists’ work and other unique gifts.

Not only that, the shop owners and store employees are probably your neighbours, your friends. They pay taxes in your province and in your town. And the Empire-Advance caters to local advertising needs and carrying your news. It’s where we live.

Local dollars support the rec centre or outdoor rink. Local money will help build the future spray or skate park. Shopping locally may help save our town in this crazy time.

Local restaurants and retailers have bent over backwards to make ordering and curbside pick-up work.

Currently there are just a sprinkling of COVID cases (28 active cases) in Saskatchewan’s southeast region containing Estevan, Weyburn and our near neighbours of Maryfield, Moosomin and Rocanville. And while it may feel like Saskatchewan is local, provincial boundaries remind us of who pays for what, and for whom.

When you consider doing business across any border, think about this: Manitoba takes care of Manitobans. Our health system is provincial. Manitoba pays for any testing or hospital stay you may incur.

In peacetime, camaraderie back and forth across provincial lines is just that - neighbourly and a nice change.

But this is war. Local businesses are fighting for their economic lives while we also fight an unseen enemy – COVID-19. Studies have shown that out of $100 spent locally, about 65 per cent stays right within the community.

Economic development is on a roll here in Virden with professional planners engaged to interact with local visionaries and local idea people. The plan is to build on and feature the assets of Virden and southwest Manitoba.

Remember, you have the power to create more choice within your community and to make it a destination.

© Virden Empire-Advance