Foot traffic is beginning to pick up in downtown Bancroft, as the holidays get ever closer.
Sandra Nicholson, of West Wind Gallery and Gifts, says this season represents a big opportunity for local businesses looking to lure shoppers, after two COVID-impacted Decembers.
She believes the pandemic may be enticing more people to shop at small-town stores.
“It’s interesting, because over the last two years with COVID, so many people had come up to cottage country to live,” she says. “They moved here permanently. We had a lot of people from the cities coming up to do their shopping.
“As businesses, we actually fared okay over the last couple of years. We’re just hoping that people now have gotten used to shopping in smaller stores, rather than going to big box stores.”
Nicholson says downtown Bancroft business owners are working together to encourage more people to shop local. A special shopping day is being planned for Friday, Dec. 16, when stores will be open later than normal and have other special features.
Nicholson says the holiday season is important to small-town retailers, as they can earn revenue that can get them through the slower winter months until cottagers return.
“Christmas is extremely important for local businesses,” she says. “We’re a seasonal community so the summer is a really big push and December is the next biggest month for us.
“It’s really important because we’re heading into winter, when things get quieter. We don’t see as many people out and about, so we’re all hoping for a strong finish to the holiday season.”