Small and local shops are vulnerable to the second wave of the coronavirus. (Langley Advance Times files)

Small and local shops are vulnerable to the second wave of the coronavirus. (Langley Advance Times files)

Our View: Save jobs, shop local in Langley

The fight to preserve local businesses and employment is underway now

It will be a rough winter for small businesses.

With COVID-19 numbers spiking through October and into November, provincial health officials really had no choice but to clamp down. Gatherings are banned, movie theatres and group fitness classes are again closed, and people are generally going to be going out less.

This is why it’s more important than ever to support the local businesses you want to survive.

No one is suggesting now is the time to go and spend an hour idly browsing, hopping from store to store with a few friends, or sitting in your favourite coffee shop with a warm mug and a good book. We’ll get back there – sooner, if we can all stick to distancing and other safety protocols.

But this is the time to consider where you shop. Amazon is doing fine, they don’t need your business. But a local shop with half a dozen employees, this season could make or break them. Federal money will help, but nothing helps keep doors open and people working more than loyal customers.

Many small Langley businesses have frantically adapted to the new reality. If you haven’t ventured out, check out their websites. Curbside pickup and online ordering have proliferated. Business owners want to run their stores and protect their clients and staff from COVID-19, and many have bent over backward to do both.

So this Christmas, consider shopping close to home. Downtown Langley and Willowbrook hold the majority of our stores, but there are gems tucked into every neighbourhood, from Brookswood to Walnut Grove, Murrayville to Aldergrove. Food, clothing, toys, games, gifts, electronics, tools, and more can be found.

So fire up the laptop or sit down on the couch with your phone, and see if there’s a local business that can give you what you need, whether it’s for your day-to-day needs, or for your Christmas shopping.

– M.C.