The holidays are practically here, which means many of us are getting ahead on our shopping—choosing to purchase online over in-store, in the name of staying safe during the pandemic. Alberta Blue Cross® strongly encourages this as safety is paramount at this time.

But this season, it’s also more important now than ever to support local wherever possible.

As advocates for wellness—we know financial wellness is top-of-mind for Albertans, so doing what we can to collectively support the financial well-being of our communities will help everyone get through this challenging time together. Local businesses play a huge role in supporting our communities. They are our neighbours, our friends and our family members—and now is the time for us to support them in return.

Here are a few ways you can shop local, while still checking off your wish lists safely.

*Healthy holiday shopping tip: if you plan to shop in person, follow Alberta Health Services guidelines: wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and follow all business protocols. *

For the homebody

Is someone on your list a fan of home goods, like candles and décor? Or perhaps unique pieces of art. Check off their list by shopping from local shops that support multiple retailers and creators. Most shops across Alberta have moved their stores online, offering safe, local pick-up or shipping. Or check out the many art and craft sales taking part online this year with products available from local vendors.

For the fashion-forward

Work from home attire has changed from suave suits to sweat suits in light of our new reality and we don’t think anyone is complaining. If someone on your wish list is looking for clothing, try shopping from a local retailer. Many local retailers offer high quality items that are also sustainably sourced. That’s two benefits in one.

For the host with the most

If you’re shopping for someone who loves craft beer and cocktails, make their spirits bright by shopping from one of the many local breweries and distilleries across Alberta. You won’t have to look far as it seems they’re popping up around every corner—and many offer delivery and safe pick-up options.

For the foodie

Despite safety measures in place for gathering and eating out, many local restaurants are still making it possible to enjoy your favourite meals from the comfort of your home. If there’s a foodie in your life who’s craving their favourite comfort food, give them a gift card to their regular spot (digital options are often available), or encourage them to try out another local place you love.

For the caffeinated

Much like restaurants, cafes around our province are getting creative with safe ordering options and online gift cards. So, you can still enjoy that warm cup of jo without worry. If there’s a café regular on your list, consider supporting local with a gift card where they can purchase their favourite drink or indulge in a sweet treat. Most cafés also offer hardware, such as coffee mugs, coffee makers or even stock local retailers. Consider adding one of these pieces to their list as a little something extra.

Not sure where to look? Here are a few links to get you started!

If each of us shops local this year, we can collectively have a huge impact on our community and local businesses.

Click here to read our news release in support of local Alberta business.  

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