Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:31

Christmas shopping was a present for Swift Current business owners

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With the holidays coming to a close, retail business owners in Swift Current are hoping the busy-ness of the Christmas shopping season extends into the new year.

“I think everyone is anticipating a typical cycle from a retail perspective,” noted Trevor Koot with the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce. “There is a definite increase in traffic during the season, and things to tend to drop off after that. We are hoping that everybody continues to do their shopping as needed and continue to support local businesses in the coming year.”

Chuck Audette, with the Downtown Business Association, noted he expected Boxing Day would once again be one of the busiest days of the year.

He added this year’s shopping season had a bit of a slow start, due to warmer weather and more people travelling out of town.

“I don’t think there is anything that can deter people from doing shopping out of town, because a lot of times, people just want a weekend away. If they are leaving to shop because they think they are saving money, they’re really not,” he explained. “For people who are leaving strictly to shop, I think they are missing the bigger picture.”

For Audette, shopping isn’t just about selecting the perfect gift. It’s about the entire shopping experience — interacting with people, window shopping, and getting some exercise by walking around.

“It’s not just about business, shopping is a social experience,” he said. “I spend enough time in front of my computer already. I think people are missing out on the fun of shopping.”

According to Chamber members, local businesses have all enjoy steady traffic over the season.

New businesses are also thriving within the community, which Koot attributes to Swift Current’s ability to grow and embrace new ideas and business ventures.

“People in the vicinity are embracing that we are a thriving, growing community,” he explained. “Since the number of amenities available locally has increased, it’s more convenient for residents to spend and shop locally. We do really encourage people to do that, because that makes it possible for the community to continue to grow and offer even more to shoppers in Swift Current.”

Audette added local merchants are also an incredible resource for local organizations. By shopping locally, buyers are spending money that can then be used by the businesses to fund cultural events and organizations that strengthen the community.

“Without local businesses supporting these organizations, they suffer,” he said. “Every dollar that leaves the community offers the potential for another business to not be here next year. That affects everybody, with lost jobs, lost services. Whether this resonates with consumers, I don’t know, but it’s something important for people to think about.”

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