The low Canadian dollar has business owners in Manitoba's second largest city ringing in more sales and re-stocking their shelves more frequently.
The Canadian dollar closed at 71 cents U.S on Thursday, not a historic low, but low enough for those who might typically order online or venture south to feel a sting in their pocketbooks.
It also has some business owners speculating that more people are deciding to spend more of their money locally, a stark contrast to early 2013 when cross-border shopping trips between the U.S and Canada were at a peak.
"It's a hard thing to completely gauge other than the fact that our sales from the Christmas season were good," said Brian Barnes, owner of Brandon Source for Sports. "So I would suggest that maybe more people are staying home, shopping around home."
"Maybe more people are staying home, shopping around home." - Brian Barnes, Brandon Source for Sports
Barnes says sales at his sporting goods store were slightly above average over the recent holiday shopping season, with most shoppers dishing out money on a mix of his store's middle and high-priced items. That's money that will now stay in the community, he said.
"Our city thrives on the fact that local business puts back into the different programs within the city," Barnes said. "For me, I hire local people, spend my money locally. Definitely, as the money comes and stays local, it's just a big circle that keeps on spinning."
It's not just Barnes seeing a boost.
"Anecdotally, I've heard comments from our retailers in town. Traffic is up a little bit at our shopping centres," said Jordan Ludwig, president of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. "I think you can attribute the lower dollar to less border traffic or less crossings."
"Traffic is up a little bit at our shopping centres" - Jordan Ludwig, Brandon Chamber of Commerce
Ludwig says even so, some of those shopping dollars are still leaking to online sales. In the end, he said it's a bit too early to tell what the final outcome will be.
"Overall I think we are seeing a bit of cautiousness in the market," he added. "Not directly attributed to just the low dollar but also due to economic challenges with oil prices slowing down."
However, the low dollar also has its downfalls.
Ludwig says retailers who import goods from the United States or sell goods, like food, that are traded in U.S. dollars, are feeling the pinch of rising prices.
"It's great to have people here and shopping in the community," he said. "But they can't afford to buy more because each individual product is more expensive. I wish it were easier."
"Probably over the last six months we've seen increases [in prices] from a lot of our suppliers," Barnes said. "Right now for us, we've held the line [on prices]. But when we get a significant increase for our products, we have to look at whether we have to increase our pricing as well."
Still, Ludwig hopes that those who decided to do more shopping at home in the wake of the low dollar stick with their new habits and stay at home, even if and when the dollar returns to a level more in line with the US greenback.