It seemed like a simple idea: the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) was hosting a luncheon a few years ago, and they wanted to serve a meal grown exclusively on Vancouver Island. But sourcing local products turned out to be extremely difficult — even for the experts at VIEA — so they launched Island Good to help local brands stand out.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Shop Local Nanaimo Campaign and help provide support to Nanaimo businesses with the Island Good initiative. The Island Good community showcases a great collection of quality, passion and talent. Together we are going to tell a great story in profiling local businesses that are contributing to the fabric of this vibrant community,” says Suzanne Hedges, Island Good Relationship & Business Development Manager.
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. Businesses can register at register.shoplocalnanaimo.ca, and the directory launches Feb. 1.
“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.
For you, for your community, shop local!
Island Good is a non-government, grassroots initiative that, through branding, helps consumers easily find and buy goods that are made on Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands. And now, thanks to a federal government grant to build ShopLocalNanaimo.ca, shoppers can use a free online directory to find Nanaimo local businesses with even less effort.
The initiative is great for the local economy — according to BC Buy Local, for every $100 spent at a local business, $63 is re-circulated back into British Columbia’s economy. And according to VIEA, every one per cent increase in sales of local products equals 50 jobs.
It’s also great for local businesses hoping to grow their sales or gain credibility.
“I was having difficulty getting a grocery store to carry my products,” says Marie Takahashi, owner of Two Crows Mustard. “When they learned that I was a licensed Island Good company, I was instantly accepted.”
Register your business or shop local retailers at shoplocalnanaimo.ca.
Program funding for ShopLocalNanaimo.ca was provided by the federal government and coordinated by the BC Chamber of Commerce.