By Kalinowski, Tim on November 16, 2019.
Over 30 small local businesses in downtown Lethbridge have banded together to celebrate the holiday season, and to encourage people to think local first as they seek to purchase their Christmas gifts.
John Pyska, owner of Big John’s Books, started the Santa’s Circle Shop Local Program to help raise the profile of unique, small businesses as the city enters into the Christmas and holiday season.
“We would like to share a gift with someone supporting other businesses in this circle,” he explains. “If people shop at three of our businesses, they will receive a treat, gift or discount of some kind. It just encourages people to come into their shop, and essentially we would give them something for being supportive of local business.”
“A lot of us small businesses can’t make as much noise by ourselves,” adds Pyska, “and that’s why I am trying to help give small businesses a voice because places like the mall or Walmart don’t need the help (to promote themselves). But for small, unique businesses in the downtown, they really don’t have a big voice. But as a unit together, we do.”
Pyska says in a year of division and local turmoil with regard to downtown Lethbridge he is determined to keep Santa’s Circle relentlessly positive.
“This is an initiative I wanted to put in place to say to people we actually do greatly appreciate them coming here,” he says. “We appreciate that they come into our small businesses and prefer to shop local. And we would like to reward them for their loyalty to our small businesses.”
For more information on the businesses taking part in the Santa’s Circle Shop Local Program visit the Big John’s Books Facebook page.
Pyska says he thinks customers will be pleased with the unique and eclectic mix.
“These businesses are the heart of our city, in my opinion,” he says. “And by shopping with them it all stays local. So if you buy stuff at my store, it doesn’t go to a corporation and stays right here in Lethbridge. You are supporting the people you know, and the people you see every day.”
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