Support friends, neighbours: Chamber

The president of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce says there is not a specific campaign in place this year to keep Canadian shoppers from spending at least a portion of their holiday dollars in the United States.
"We as business people do what we can to let shoppers know of the great values here in Canada," said Garry McDonald. "But if someone wants to go over (to the U.S.), they likely will, no matter what we say."
McDonald says the topic of cross-border shopping has gained traction this year because of the strength of the Canadian dollar, but he says it is nothing new.
"It being going on for years," he said.
Similar to a campaign by the Retail Council of Canada, McDonald says the Chamber wants residents to recognize that local retailers are friends and neighbours who create employment, pay taxes and sponsor local sports teams before they take a trip across the bridge.
He also said the Canada Border Services Agency officers can play an integral part in the equation as well by collecting applicable taxes at the border. Otherwise, Canadian retailers automatically fall behind by 13 per cent on the price of items, he said.
"They can't collect from everyone, otherwise we'd be backed up to Detroit," said McDonald. "But, they do have a role to play here."

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