REGINA -- The provincial government has launched a $1-million marketing campaign to encourage Saskatchewan residents to continue supporting local businesses amid COVID-19.

The Regina and District Chamber of Commerce and other regional chambers will use the funding to expand the “Together We Stand” campaign across the province.

“Encouraging Saskatchewan residents to buy local is a great initiative of the business community that we are pleased to support during this unprecedented difficult economic time,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a news release. “This consumer campaign to support local businesses, led by the Regina Chamber and to be shared across our province, will help connect consumers directly with Saskatchewan businesses during the ongoing pandemic, throughout our economic recovery initiatives, and for the long-term.”

The marketing campaign will help connect Saskatchewan businesses to their customers in order to maintain the economy through the pandemic and into the recovery period in the weeks ahead.

“There are a number of ways residents can support local businesses here, and that’s true for people supporting their local businesses right across Saskatchewan,” Regina and District Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins said in the release. “We thank the government for their strong support and continuing partnership with our business community on this ‘Together We Stand’ campaign and other key projects to keep Saskatchewan working.”

Many businesses are still operating, but are reporting a decline in sales. The province says the campaign will help increase awareness of businesses still operating delivery, pickup and online options.