Whether it's COVID-19 or construction, some of the local businesses in Portage have had it rough in recent times.

October 15 to 21 has been proclaimed as Small Business Week. Executive director of the Portage & District Chamber of Commerce Stephanie Dunn says it's recognized nationally, but it's the first time that the City and Chamber are working together to promote it.

"I think what people need to remember is that while there is the convenience of shopping online, some people, with our proximity to bigger centres, feel like they'll just go there and get it all done," explains Dunn. "You can get everything that you need in Portage. We have an amazing selection of businesses in town and those businesses give right back to the community."

As the holidays are right around the corner, Dunn and the Chamber wants shoppers to remember that good deals aren't exclusive to big-box stores. The $50 that you may spend somewhere else will go much further than you think if you keep it in the community.

"There's going to be a lot of sales, such as Black Friday coming up," notes Dunn. "We want to place the focus on things that you can get in town for, honestly, the same price, if not better."

The Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce is hoping to showcase different local businesses in the city with a brand-new contest. On the Chamber's social media, they'll be posting close-up pictures of different local store shelves. If you can identify and get to that store, there might be a gift card waiting for you there.

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