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Local gift ideas: Featuring Canadian businesses on Shop Local CANADA

If you’re looking for a special gift, you’ll find plenty of ideas at Shop Local CANADA (shoplocalcanada.ca).

“Our main purpose is to make local shopping within Canada really easy,” said owner Amy Armstrong. “We feature trendy and unique products to share with anyone who wants to support local.”

 

The website launched in 2018, lists hundreds of local businesses across Canada. They actively promote products on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.


Featured products are grouped into themed gift guides, from cozy cottage to eco-friendly to dog lovers

When a business applies for a membership, they get a listing on the site, promotion through its blog and social media channels, as well as entry into a supportive network of business owners. So not only does it provide a service for people seeking locally-made products, it’s opened up an online community of businesses supporting each other.

“We run a private group for all of our members who can seek support, share advice and learn about relevant workshops. The success of this group has been an unexpected positive outcome since setting up the site. As small business owners, we can sometimes feel alone, but it’s nice to see a community supporting one another.”


An evolving concept

The idea for the site, which originally just featured local businesses in Calgary, expanded in 2018 to feature businesses Canada-wide, and the domain name was changed to shoplocalcanada.ca. The majority of members ship Canada-wide, and visitors are able to filter products by business location.

“With this domain, you just know what the website is all about without needing to explain. And choosing .CA made a lot of sense. We're Canadian and we only feature Canadian-based businesses.”

Amy now works full time for Shop Local CANADA, and has help from two other part-timers.

“Right now our growth is focused on adding more listings to the site and getting more representation from all provinces. We are also brainstorming lots of ideas for how to make local shopping even easier for Canadians. We’re currently discussing building an app, launching a discount card program and using coupon codes.”

You can follow Shop Local CANADA on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest


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