• Antigonish By Choice hoping to offer a community boost

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    A program operating in Antigonish is more than a boost for local business, it’s a blessing for community spirit.

    The Antigonish Chamber of Commerce, St. Francis Xavier University and the St. Francis Xavier Alumni Association came together to kick start the latest part of the Antigonish by Choice campaign. This resulted in many happy people receiving gift cards which can be used at local businesses.

    “With flooding and the latest wave of COVID-19, things have been difficult, but Antigonish is such a resilient little community and people rally around to help,” said Lindsay Ross, president of the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce.

    The chamber had received a grant, through the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, to promote the shop local initiative and encourage people to view Antigonish as a destination.

    “After the last wave hit, St. F.X. reached out to see how they could help the business community,” said Ross. “We were already doing a gift card initiative and they doubled what we’d put into that (giving $10,000). The St.

    F.X. Alumni Association put in $2,000 and a couple of local businesses, Hawthorne Street Convenience and the Monastery Petro Can, have also made significant contributions.

    “Before Christmas, the little elves on the board ran around like crazy and bought gift cards, then started distributing them.”

    Some gift cards went to front-line workers, others were handed out as contest prizes on local radio station 989 XFM, and others were passed on to organizations working with people in need and to Paqtnkek First Nation for distribution.

    More than 60 businesses, offering a wide variety of products and services, are taking part in the program.

    “We had a really good response and most of the businesses that registered are locally owned,” said Ross.

    “Antigonish has a lot to offer. We will continue to buy more gift cards and certificates and run contests. This will help promote the Antigonish area as a place to shop, dine, play and stay … This is meant to provide hope for the future. It’s not a solution, but a stimulus. This is a great area and people are passionate about helping one another through tough times.”

    A list of businesses registered with the campaign can be found online at https://antigonishchamber.com/antigonish-by-choice-shop-dine-play-stay/

    Laura Curwin