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Tri-Cities’ businesses to get a boost for their recovery from pandemic

Local businesses recovering from the pandemic will be getting a boost from a collaboration of Tri-City organizations
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(L-R) Jennifer McKinnon, of the Downtown Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, Leslie Courchesne, of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Lara Graham, publisher of the Tri-City News, and Christina Brown, of the Tri-Cities Chamber, show their enthusiasm for the Tri-Local campaign that encourages residents to shop close to home.

Local businesses battling back from the COVID-19 pandemic have received a boost.

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce will use a $50,700 grant from Shop Local BC to help raise awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses by creating an educational marketing campaign through next March that involves advertising, signage, social media, feature stories and even eco-friendly swag.

“The Tri-Local campaign will show consumers first hand how their support of local businesses goes beyond storefronts and into the community as a whole,” said Christina Brown, programs coordinator with the Tri-Cities Chamber. “By seeing how their money is making a difference, it will encourage people to continue supporting the Tri-Cities and keep their money local.”

The grant is supported by the federal government’s Strategic Activities Program and it’s delivered through the BC Chamber of Commerce. Tri-Local is a partnership of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association, Downtown Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, Port Moody & Co. and the Tri-City News.

“The collaboration between the project partners is set to reap the rewards of this enhanced funding,” said Jennifer McKinnon, the executive director of the Downtown PoCo BIA.

Let February, the group pooled resources to create Taste of Tri-Cities that encouraged diners to visit about 50 local restaurants to enjoy special menus that were available from Feb. 15 to March 19.

According to LOCO BC, for every $100 spent at an independent business, $63 is recirculated back into the local economy, while only $14 trickles down from multinational companies. As well, independent businesses produce up to 8.4 times more jobs than big corporations.

That impact has only amplified as businesses have tried to weather the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and public health restrictions.

“Tri-Cities communities have embraced shopping local throughout the pandemic,” said Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber. “We want this to grow through the holiday shopping season and into 2022.”