Supporting local business is something the Yorkton Business Improvement District is hoping to see more of, as local small business owners say they have been having a tough time.

There are more empty storefronts now, than the District has seen in years. At least some of the blame for the struggle, is being pointed at government decisions at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

"They increase taxes, which increases property taxes, which increases rents... For the small business owner, it's not a good thing," Executive Director for the Yorkton Business Improvement District, Phil Devos said.

Another problem being blamed is former customers choosing to spend their money in other ways, as online shopping is often cheaper and easier than going to the store.

“You're also cutting the throat of, maybe your next door neighbour works at one of those stores, or maybe your neighbour owns a store. They might not be your neighbour much longer,” Devos said.

After almost five years in business, Bev Fuches, owner of Oliv Tasting in Yorkton, will be closing her shop at the end of March.

"I found there's just not the extra that people usually have. To spend on specialty products such as ours,” Fuches said.

However stores manage to do it, the District’s message is a simple one. The best way to avoid more empty store fronts, is to get more people shopping local.

-With files from a report by Stefanie Davis