’Twas a merry merchant Christmas

Kitimat retailers received their own Christmas present after a long, difficult year fraught with uncertainty.

Kitimat retailers received their own Christmas present after a long, difficult year fraught with uncertainty.

And they look forward to a healthy 2011.

Members of the Haisla Nation received an $8,000 per person dividend late last year as a result of KLNG buying out the Haisla’s option in the proposed liquefied natural gas plant.

Which in turn had a positive economic affect in Kitimat.

“We had an extra little bonus in town this this fall so it turned out to be a fairly good Christmas,” Linda Pitzel of BookMasters/The Source said.

“If there was a saving grace, it had to be the money that was given to the Haisla,” echoed Derek deGoeij of Sears.

Other retailers reported the same positive sales over Christmas, helping offset lower sales through the rest of the year.

“We did probably $6,000 to $8,000 more than we did the previous year,” said Heather Masch of Pyramid Office Supplies.

Due to challenges in the local economy, primarily related to the Eurocan closure, retail sales were reported down through most of the year, making the Christmas sales an unexpected surprise.

Trish Parsons of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce also attributes the Christmas sales volume to greater economic certainty in Kitimat.

“I think a lot of that was people knew where they were at whereas the previous year there were a lot of unknowns,” she explained.

The Chamber also ran the Christmas in Kitimat passport books which provided an incentive for shoppers to plan their Christmas shopping in Kitimat.

Parsons said 112 completed passports were returned to the Chamber for entry into a draw.

“When you start doing the calculations, there’s a fair bit of money moving throughout the community,” she pointed out.

For most businesses in the retail sector, Christmas sales provide income to carry them through the first and second quarters of the year, which tend to have lower sales volumes.

With the unexpected bump in sales, Kitimat retailers expect to have a healthy 2011.

Parsons said the Chamber of Commerce believes Kitimat has reached it’s economic bottom and expects the coming year will see more economic growth in the community.

“People are very optimistic, there’s lot’s of things starting to happen.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Tamitik Status of Women granted $500,000 to support housing construction project

The funds will be used to support the construction of second stage and affordable rental housing.

In Our Valley: Lois Godfrey

Godfrey has spent 50 years helping with the Girl Guides, and even more helping out in her community.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read