Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) embraced the holiday spirit and is providing generous grants to community non-profit groups to help make the holiday season a little brighter for basin businesses and services.
In Trail, Community Futures’ We-Sport-Fish (WSF) initiative and the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce tapped into the Trust’s Holiday Buy Local Grant funding.
The Trust has approved $1,500 grants to individual non-profit groups, and up to $5,000 to collective applicants, for holiday season projects that promote shopping at locally owned stores and services.
As a happy grant recipient, WeSportFish is running a ‘Gifts for Anglers’ promotion on social media, where users can enter a draw to win gifts purchased from local businesses, each valued at about $50.
“From Dec. 1 to Dec. 15 we are giving away 32 locally purchased gifts any angler or outdoor person will love,” explained Ron Perepolkin, Community Futures project coordinator. “Visit WeSportFish.com and search us up on Facebook and Instagram to enter the contest.
“It’s our way to say thank you, and wish everyone a Merry Fishmas!”
The chamber also partnered with the Trail Times and local radio to provide businesses with free advertising over the holidays.
“It’s a much needed initiative,” said the chamber’s executive director, Erika Krest. “We are also trying to educate the public on the importance of shopping local, and spending their money locally, and I hope that this campaign will remind people of that.”
All businesses have to do is go online to select a favourite product or service to feature, write a brief description and attach a logo or photograph, and email it all to email@example.com.
The ad will be part of a feature in the Times that will run every week for the next four weeks, starting the first week of December (see pg. 10).
In addition, the Times feature will include a unique holiday riddle that encourages residents to reply to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a holiday gift.
The Trust’s grants were created to help organizations promote businesses and services available close to home.
By investing and contributing locally, it will ensure dollars circulate in the communities, create new jobs, and maintain current ones, but also enhance economic resiliency, and a sense of belonging. The application for the grants are available on a first come first serve basis, and the original deadline of Nov. 27 extended into December.
Both WSF and the chamber, which represents Fruitvale, Montrose, Trail, Warfield and Rossland, were successful applicants, and encourage residents to support their businesses throughout the holiday season and beyond.
“Let’s keep our economy thriving in the last month of what has proven to be a challenging year in business due to COVID-19,” said Krest. “They (the Trust) made it very easy for us, the application process was very painless. They created this fund with the purpose of helping the local communities leading up to Christmas. For many this is the most significant month for generating revenue.”
Perepolkin looks forward to the day when WSF can unabashedly welcome visitors back to Greater Trail and the Columbia River, but until then, he encourages residents to stay home and buy local for the benefit of us all.
“With Christmas quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to provide some great local gift ideas for our audience.
“We want our shops, hotels and restaurants to benefit from visiting anglers in the upcoming fishing season. When people can safely travel, they stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, and bring new money into our communities.”
Sport fishing contributes over $390 million to B.C.’s GDP. Community Futures developed wesportfish.com to promote not only the exceptional fishing opportunities on the Columbia River, but more importantly to support its residents, businesses, and communities.