By Beth Veenkamp, Economic Development Officer, City of Williams Lake –

An indicator of economic prosperity in cities is a healthy and vibrant downtown core. This is accomplished when there is good pedestrian traffic that frequents local businesses, which are often independently owned and operated. Usually unique, and often eclectic, downtowns that offer a variety of choices and have a pleasant and bustling vibe are one of the key elements that strengthen the health of a community.

Shop Local to Build the Economy.


Williams Lake small shop owners are working hard every day to keep themselves afloat in a competitive market place where shopping online is becoming king. We are seeing giant retailers like Sears fold under the pressure to stay afloat in a marketplace where choices are everywhere and brand loyalty has been eclipsed by the selection offered on pop-up screens from the comfort of your couch.

The Love Northern BC Initiative, developed by Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), is a program that seeks to support small shops that are the heart of their communities. It is a movement connecting locally owned businesses with unique marketing campaigns, with the aim to strengthen their competitiveness and keep more dollars in the local economy. It is an initiative focused on supporting economic diversity in Williams Lake, and it operates out of the City of Williams Lake’s Economic Development office.

The Love Williams Lake program aims to leverage marketing dollars available to small business owners so that they can gain a competitive advantage to attract and build business. With a one-time registration fee of $100, it is a great marketing tool that comes with a full website listing, professional write-up, professional photo shoot, and connection to the local marketing initiatives that take place throughout the year.

The Love Williams Lake program will also be promoting a Plaid Friday campaign, which aims to shift shopping habits and support small shops on Black Friday, November 24.

As you start making your holiday shopping lists, remember a little bit of love goes a long way. Are you making a commitment to keep some of your dollars in our small shops? The Love Williams Lake website is a great place to start your browsing for ideas because when you stop to look, there is something for everyone on your list.

This year our local businesses need your support more than ever. Deciding to commit to spending at least 50 per cent of your dollars locally is a great way to support recovery efforts. Keeping your dollars in Williams Lake does make a difference. Remember that where you choose to shop counts to our local retailers. If you want to live in a city that has choices, activities, and a vibrant atmosphere, your choices of who you support do matter.

To find out who our local, unique, and independent Love Williams Lake merchants are, or to register for the program, visit the website can also contact Beth Veenkamp at City Hall with any questions that you may have.“Like” the Love Williams Lake Facebook page to stay up to date with promotions and news from our local retailers and services.


1 Comment

  1. I have not been happy lately shopping in town and these are the reasons:

    1. Walked into Sandtronic 2 weeks ago looking for printers walked around touching items 2 staff having a grand chat no one else in store didn’t bother to greet or offer to help. So I walked out deciding I must be invisible.

    2. Then went to Andres for the 1st time, again looking for a printer not sure if they had such a thing but willing to look, same experience and I won’t be back.

    3. Had to go to Staples 3 times, 1st time no help, 2nd asked for manager who could not answer my questions. So he took my name and did phone next day with some answers. Finally on 3rd try got Julie M. who is the absolute greatest staff member in the place who could answer all questions without looking anything up and so I bought a printer thanks to her or I would have gone to Kamloops.

    4. I owned a store in this town for 21 yrs. and the first thing told employees always look up and smile and greet customer even when helping someone else or on the phone with a customer. These customers are who gives you a paycheck. To bad this seems to no longer be the case.

    5. So if stores want to stay in business and have the money stay in town pay attention to the customer walking in the door for they are just as capable of walking out the door and going out of town.