In The Media – Shop Your Town


Article from Chemainus Valley Courier April Edition – Source: Chemainus Valley Courier April Edition 2015

CHEMAINUS – The Chemainus Business Improvement Association (BIA) is launching a new promotion called Shop Your Town. It’s the latest strategy aimed at reminding people of everything Chemainus has to offer, says Krystal Adams, the BIA’s marketing and events coordinator. “Shop Your Town is all about getting local residents re-acquainted with local businesses,” says Adams. “We also aim to re-examine what Chemainus is; it’s not one street or two, the new mall, or just the Theatre but a town, our town, as a whole.”

Adams says busy people sometimes forget why we live in a small town and find it so appealing. “If we think back to when we moved here, we liked to be able to walk to the grocery store for this or that, liked getting a coffee on Saturday mornings or running to the bakery for fresh bread. “We liked the small town shopping, services, and artisans and we just simply have gotten out of the habit of using them.” Adams says the promotion is less about driving sales than it is about bringing the residents of Chemainus back into their town to rediscover how much is right at their doorstep. Not only is shopping in local stores and shops handy, it makes sense on other levels. “What we need to think about in Chemainus is getting residents involved in the community they live in by doing what they already do – but just in their town. By doing this they will be supporting local business which just happen to be neighbours and friends,” Adams points out. “Professionals from all over the country have chosen this beautiful place to live because, like the residents, they love the community feel.“We have smart confident business leaders in the community that select quality products for their stores and of course our wonderful artisans. Buying from and using local services is elemental to sustaining a vibrant community in Chemainus and on the island, and keeps our dollars in our community. Supporting them is a courtesy because we want to ensure the vibrancy of our town and the lifestyle we wish to live.”

BIA members are located downtown, in Old Town and along Chemainus Road. Adams says she’s heard that some residents of Chemainus have never shopped in any of these areas. “The face of the town has changed and the stores that you relied upon for years have changed with it, but there are so many others. “We have stores that offer everything from infant shoes, trendy apparel, artisan paintings, comfort food, and so much more,” says Adams. “We even offer our own legal currency – the Chemainus Dollar, which is equivalent to the Canadian dollar. It is available at Coastal Community Credit Union and almost all Chemainus businesses accept this currency. Some businesses even offer special discounts if you pay with Chemainus Dollars or a percentage off on special days.” With the strength of the American dollar, the upcoming season could be good for businesses targeting the tourist business. “The Visitor’s Centre has already seen an influx of visitors for 2015, and with the U.S. dollar the Cowichan Valley is expecting to see its first year of increased U.S. tourists over the last few years,” says Adams.

“We are also launching campaigns and events throughout the year aimed at bringing key island groups to the town and showcasing all we have to offer. We have such a vibrant community, and it is essential that we share this with the island, nationally, and internationally.” Adams says the BIA, with the Shop Your Town campaign and other initiatives, is trying to showcase all of the benefits of living in Chemainus. “From coffee to banking and gifts to groceries, we have so much to offer. It’s very easy to be a tourist in neighbouring communities, and even dismiss what we have in our own back yard because it is always there and will always be there. “But that’s the best part we always forget: it is right there. Take the time on Saturdays to stroll through the stores here and there while sipping a delicious latte, getting everything you need in less time as opposed to rushing around after work. “Just imagine: instead of standing in long lines at the grocery store or driving 15 minutes or more just for a prescription, you can park once and get everything you need, then simply jump back into your car for a two minute drive, or walk home.”