A global pandemic has underscored the need and desire for an intensely local economy, driven by communities supporting and nurturing entrepreneurship.
Along with Vancouver Island businesses, associations and Chambers of Commerce who have launched shop local initiatives as a way to promote a circular regional economy, Small Business BC announces it has signed up over 1,600 participants to its digital platform BC Marketplace.
Funded by the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, BC Marketplace’s goal is to simplify the “shop local” experience by making it easy for BC residents to discover small businesses across the province. And it also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to increase their visibility and gain new customers.
“Small businesses continue to be hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19, so we are doing everything we can to support them,” says Tom Conway, CEO of Small Business BC. “We want to showcase BC entrepreneurs and encourage the public to buy local, especially during the holiday season. The BC Marketplace connects shoppers with products and services, while helping business owners discover customers who want to support the BC economy.”
The BC Marketplace allows entrepreneurs in every industry to upload their business information and product images, as well as offer special promotions. For those with a website, the BC Marketplace will boost their online presence. For those not currently online, the platform offers space to create a digital footprint, making it easier for customers to discover them.
Jill Van Gyn, owner of Victoria-based FATSO peanut butter company, says “it’s so vital for people to support these businesses because who else is going to support the local soccer team’s fundraiser? Who else will give back to local charities? We will always support our community because these same communities supported us when we were small and needed help and I am forever grateful for that.”
Small Business BC wants to see more businesses participating in the platform and encourages entrepreneurs to sign up.
Vancouver Island businesses are listed here: marketplacebc.ca/vancouver-island-coast.