Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux delivers toys to Salish Secondary student volunteers Dec. 12 . Cadieux says shopping locally can help alleviate some of the economic burdens facing British Columbians. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Love Cloverdale? Shop Local!

British Columbia’s economy will feel the effects for some time to come.

By Stephanie Cadieux

Special to the Cloverdale Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for the global economy. Mandatory lockdowns required to help slow the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in lost revenues for organizations of all sizes and astounding unemployment rates across nations. British Columbia’s economy will feel the effects for some time to come.

Former governments worked hard to diversify British Columbia’s economy, and that helped to create the strength that had us weather the economic turmoil of 2008 better than the rest of Canada. It left us in an enviable position leading into this current crisis, however, we are now seeing the effects of both the global economic realities through trade and the local impacts on our small businesses.

Cloverdale, the City of Surrey’s third largest community, is home to many small businesses: gift and specialty retailers; restaurants; spas and salons; but also manufacturers, agricultural producers, wholesalers and more.

You might know of the scrumptious treats at the Cloverdale Bakery. But did you know you can get your garden growing at Ben’s Farm and Garden Center and Southridge Building Supplies is a locally owned and operated destination for all your around-the-house DIY projects.

These are just a few examples – and I could list hundreds more. If you are looking for a quick reference guide of open businesses have you checked out the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce? They have a special Facebook page for local businesses to share information on services and products with customers.

Our local businesses can meet our needs right here – and many also have online shopping options, curbside pick-up or delivery. They really need our help. The thing is of course, these are the businesses that make our community a nice place to live and work. They employ our neighbours, they support our charities and sports teams, and they have been hit with unexpected and unmanageable challenges with the pandemic.

As we move carefully through the phases of re-opening, we need to remain vigilant and patient. Social distancing and other measures need to be followed for your safety and the safety of others. This isn’t “let’s get back to normal” it is “let’s see how we can adapt”.

So be patient with each other and with businesses as they prepare to welcome you back.

We can help. Shop local, buy local, support local.

Cadieux is the MLA for Surrey South.

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