The economy took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and a campaign announced in Kapuskasing on Wednesday hopes to restart it. Think Local First campaign consists of 5,700 coupon books that were mailed from Opasatika to Fauquier, and a website www.shoplocalnorth.com.

Forty businesses in our region are taking part in the campaign that allows you to save by shopping in person with the coupons or using that website. The coupons are valid until the end of the year.

Each business has a subscription to the website. Donna Todd from the Kapuskasing District Chamber of Commerce says the portal is designed to help businesses develop a new avenue to reach not only local residents but bring them a wider audience to sell their products.

“The goal of this campaign is to create top of mind awareness for local businesses who have been forced to close or reduced access during the last three months. It’s imperative that we help each other to continue to grow,” she said. “We also want to remind residents of the quality of good and services available in our community and to think local first before spending out of town.”

The program is a partnership between the Chamber, Model Distribution, Economic Development Society, Kapuskasing Economic Development Corporation, North Claybelt and Caisse Alliance.