As the holiday season kicks into high gear the government is encouraging people to shop close to home.

It’s BC Buy Local Week. The week is aimed at recognizing the contributions local businesses make to their communities.

The province says they are key drivers of B.C.’s economy.

Figures from a recent LOCO BC Indie Impact Study show that for every $100 spent locally, up to $63 are recirculated in the community, creating 4.6 times the economic impact over any money spent at non-local businesses.

Over 500,000 small businesses operate in B.C., employing more than one million people and accounting for 53% of the province’s private-sector employment. The study also found that local restaurants recirculate 67.9% of all revenues locally compared to multinationals at 30.4%.

On top of that, B.C. leads other provinces in gross domestic product generated by small businesses, at 34% of overall provincial GDP.

“When you shop local, you help advance the local economy and allow your community to thrive and benefit all British Columbians,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Local businesses are vital to our communities. Not only do they create good jobs, they also enhance the community by contributing to worthy causes.”

During BC Buy Local Week you’re being asked to make a pledge to support a small business in the Powell River area.