There are many reasons to shop local: it’s a way of supporting your neighbours, ensuring convenient services continue to thrive, and boosting the local economy. Through the pandemic even more people have made the extra effort to shop local, and help Nanaimo businesses survive this challenging time.
A new online service is making it even easier to find local options: ShopLocalNanaimo.ca.
“People who want to shop local can source options more easily through this website and subscribe for special offers from local businesses,” says Kim Smythe, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO. “We’ve been promoting the ‘Think Local’ mantra for a long while, this funding allows us to supercharge that promotion and add a new digital asset – ShopLocalNanaimo.ca.”
The federal government grant has helped build the website, which acts as a free online directory of Nanaimo local businesses. Businesses can register at register.shoplocalnanaimo.ca, and the directory launches Feb. 1.
“Over 90 per cent of Nanaimo businesses are locally owned. It’s the Chamber’s goal to identify and promote as many of these as possible in a free, online, searchable directory – Chamber member or not,” Smythe says.
Strengthening partnerships, building community
A select number of registered businesses will be featured in weekly interactive online profiles throughout the year. Smythe also looks forward to fostering strong partnerships with other local organizations.
“We want to count local organizations as partners, including the Old City Quarter, Downtown Nanaimo, Tourism Nanaimo, the City and many others to share the story of local shopping.”
One key partner in the program is Island Good, the unofficial brand mark for ‘made on the Island’ quality-products. When businesses register for the ShopLocalNanaimo.ca directory, they’ll have a chance to earn a bursary to cover costs of applying for Island Good licensing. In addition to food and beverage, Island Good recently expanded its criteria to include retailers.
“This grant extends the Chamber’s ‘Think Local’ philosophy into a legacy,” Smythe says. “Our goal is to put the spotlight on specific individuals, partners and groups who own and operate the local businesses that drive Nanaimo’s economy – and their part in the battle for BC’s economic recovery.”
Register your business or shop local retailers at shoplocalnanaimo.ca.
Program funding was provided by the federal government and coordinated by the BC Chamber of Commerce.