November 29, 2016
Small northern B.C. businesses are already seeing results from their participation in this program. The program connects locals to learn more about what is available in their own towns, helps new businesses get established within their local business environment and exposes established businesses to new markets. Here are some testaments to the power of local:
Dejacali Wellness Services, Love Fort St. John
Debra Rees recently began her massage therapy business focused on eldercare. With the support of the Love Fort St. John community champion, Lilia Hansen from the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce, Debra is a proud member of Love Fort St. John.
“I just started my own business in February of this year. With limited income for advertising, the Love Fort St. John initiative was a welcome and affordable option,” says Debra Rees, owner of Dejacali Wellness Services. “The exposure through Love Fort St. John alone has been positive and beneficial. The opportunity to mingle with other business owners has been great too. I feel like I have support and help to succeed!”
Heartstrings Decor, Love Smithers
In Smithers, Heartstrings Décor is located in a quaint log frame building with gorgeous mountain views and has been in business since 2003. Co-owner Sherri Matthews says it’s no secret that Heartstrings is popular with locals, but their Love Smithers online profile has given them an edge to attract international shoppers.
“A few months ago, a German couple came into our shop and when I asked them how they found us, they mentioned that they used lovesmithers.com to find a place to stay and everywhere they wanted to shop! They said they knew right away that Heartstrings would be their first shopping destination based on the pictures alone!”
Thomas Greene, Traditional Haida Carver, Love Haida Gwaii
Born and raised in Skidegate, Thomas Greene worked in fishing, commercial diving and tree falling, but found his true calling as a Haida jewellery maker. He never could have anticipated the impact his Love Haida Gwaii profile would have on his practice.
Before his profile went online, he had never seen his work displayed online and had no web-based presence whatsoever. A few months after his profile went online, he called the Trust to share his excitement as he had received his first online order for a set of wedding rings. Soon after, Northern Development’s Director of Business Development, Renata King, was facilitating a workshop in Hudson’s Hope and was sharing Tom’s story. A participant in the room stood up to exclaim that those rings were in fact for her wedding, illustrating how the program can introduce fellow northerners to each other.
Thanks to his web profile, Tom now receives orders from overseas for his jewellry.
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Love Northern BC is a movement connecting people with the independent locally-owned businesses that are the heart and soul of their communities.