$50,000 in e-gift cards for local businesses in Northern Development’s service region have been purchased since April 27, 2020. Over the past 14 months, customers have been keen to support their favourite small businesses through the varying restrictions imposed by the Provincial Health Officer aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Businesses in downtown Prince George have sold 349 gift cards totaling $16,390, the highest value of any Northern B.C. community. In second and third place are Smithers and Prince Rupert, selling $11,055 and $10,788 respectively. Businesses in Prince Rupert sold the highest quantity of e-gift cards at387, with the average value of those gift cards being $27. In Prince George, the average was $46 and $37 in Smithers.
In Prince George, sister restaurants Betulla Burning and Nancy O’s are grateful for the overwhelming support from their patrons during the pandemic.
“The Support Local BC online gift card program has been a wonderful asset to our business this past year,” said Eoin Foley, co-owner, Betulla Burning and Nancy O’s. “Gift cards have always been kind of hard for us to do remotely and this has given us this platform during a time when it was needed most.”
In April 2020, Northern Development announced their partnership with Support Local BC to provide tangible support to small businesses throughout central and northern B.C. The partnership means that all Love Northern BC businesses are eligible to participate at absolutely no cost. There is no sign-up fee for the business, nor do they have to pay any processing fees. Removing the financial barrier to participation during the pandemic is important to Northern Development to ensure that small businesses have access to the platform to help sustain themselves during the pandemic.