It’s time to take out your wallets and shop local. A nation-wide initiative called The Big Spend is encouraging people to make intentional purchases at small, local businesses on July 25, in an effort to help revive Canada’s economy.

The Big Spend was spearheaded by Tim Schindel of Victoria B.C., who is a former Chamber of Commerce president and the founder of Leading Influence, a faith-based organization focused on supporting elected leaders in Canada. “The Big Spend is a God idea for me,” he said in an interview on YouTube. “I really believe that the church can be, and needs to be, ahead of the curve, because we are connected to the Creator. It makes sense that we should be leading in creativity.”

When Tim read in the news that one in ten small businesses would not recover from COVID-19, he was horrified. “Local businesses are where we go to make our memories, local businesses are always there, and, if we don’t step up now and help them, when they’re gone, they’re gone,” he says. “All we’re doing is stepping up and saying we’re going to support local business and we’re going to help them through this time.”

The Big Spend is encouraging people to become a “Spend Friend” by making a purchase at a small, local business and recording it on The Big Spend’s website. An interactive map will track purchases across Canada and tally the amount of money being funnelled into the economy due to the initiative. Tim says he hopes to see an injection of $100 million into the Canadian economy over the course of the day. “I’m excited to see where this will go,” he says.

Merrickville-Wolford Economic Development Officer, Stacie Lloyd, says this is just one of the many “support local” programs they have come across in Ontario and across the country. “We’re looking forward to seeing what impact smaller communities can have on a larger scale,” she says. “Even by supporting local businesses, it can help across the board.”

To learn more about The Big Spend and become a Spend Friend visit their website at www.thebigspend.ca.

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