Six communities throughout central and northern British Columbia have partnered with Northern Development Initiative Trust to deliver buy-local campaigns to strengthen local businesses, local competitiveness and keep more dollars in the local economy.
“There is solid evidence that successful buy-local campaigns in smaller communities help the economy thrive,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Trust exists to serve communities throughout central and northern B.C., and we believe this pilot program celebrates and supports the growth of fantastic home-grown businesses throughout the region.”
The six communities included in the pilot program are the District of Logan Lake, the District of Fort St. James, the District of 100 Mile House, the District of Vanderhoof, the Village of Valemount and the Village of Burns Lake.
Each of the six communities has a population of less than 5,000 residents.
“The Small Town Love project is a great opportunity for local businesses in Fort St. James to collaborate and promote what products and services are locally available to the community,” said District of Fort St. James Mayor Rob MacDougall. “We’re very excited as this helps us to build a critical awareness for community members, business and industry to highlight the benefits of shopping locally, in turn helping to strengthen the resilience of our local economy.”
The pilot program is a partnership between Northern Development and entrepreneur Amy Quarry, who created and launched the original “Small Town Love” buy-local initiative in the City of Quesnel. With more than 50 local Quesnel-based businesses working collaboratively under the “Small Town Love” marketing brand, Quarry’s original program was extremely well received and highly successful (one-in-five Quesnel residents now own a copy of the first “Small Town Love” guide, which sold out in less than four months).
The program is anchored by a strongly branded website with the highest quality photography,which features many independently owned local businesses.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Northern Development to bring the vision of Small Town Love to more towns in northern B.C.,” said Amy Quarry, founder, Small Town Love. “Our hope is that Small Town Love can serve as a powerful reminder that B.C.’s small towns are worth visiting, living in — and investing in. Supporting local independent businesses means putting your money where your heart is.”