Winter weather getting shoppers into holiday spirit

Peggy Revell

While some may be cursing all the snow that’s been falling here so far this winter, it’s been a boon for Emo businesses as they head into the holiday season.
“The early snowfall definitely helps in getting people in the winter mood a lot earlier,” said Borderland Esso owner Dave Goodman, who also sits on the Emo Chamber of Commerce.
It’s one of the things that is making local businesses optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, he added.
“For us [at Borderland Esso], the biggest thing right now is anything that moves snow,” he chuckled.
“Which has a range from Kubota tractors with snowblowers to four-wheelers with snow blades.
“And as the winter progresses, anything that goes over top of the snow, like snowmobiles, will [become] more requested,” Goodman noted.
“It’s been very good because there’s lots of snow,” echoed Scott McLeod over at Degagne Equipment.
He said the wintry blast both gets people into the holiday shopping mood, and also makes them realize they’re in need of certain snow removal equipment.
“It’s busier this year than normal because we’re getting so much snow, that’s the biggest reason” McLeod said.
And he’s “absolutely” optimistic about the upcoming Christmas season, with the toys, hoodies, and snowblowers always a popular item at his store.
The extra snow has been a boost in getting people into the Christmas mood, agreed Cheryl Curtis at Meyer’s Clothing.
But Curtis also is hoping the weather holds up so people can come out and enjoy all the “Holly Daze” festivities this Friday and Saturday in Emo, including a “Beautiful Baby Contest” and penny table set up at the store.
An event like “Holly Daze” is a good draw for local merchants like herself, she noted, and she’s hoping for a good Christmas season business-wise.
“We appreciate every sale,” she stressed.
The holiday season always is very important to local business, said Goodman, and is “definitely a good boost for the local economy.”
“Obviously, by shopping locally you’re supporting your next-door neighbours in their employment and in the tax base of the town and the community,” he remarked.
“It’s good for everybody all around,” he added, noting local businesses also often mean more personalized attention and support.
Supporting local business is always important, agreed McLeod.
“Doesn’t matter where they buy as long as they buy local,” he reasoned. “If they buy local, the money goes round and round.”
Besides the snow, another positive impact on local businesses has been the increase of mining activity across the district, Goodman noted.
“I’m seeing, actually, the mining activity all the way from Atikokan right through to the local ones here,” he said.
“There’s been spin-offs to many local businesses, ourselves included—we’re definitely noticing it.
“And the forestry side of things is starting to recover slowly, so we’re seeing a little bit of extra activity there,” Goodman added.