The Bradford Board of Trade has officially launched their Shop Local campaign in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
The board recently received a grant through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $34,000 to help incentivize the community to shop locally.
Mayor Rob Keffer, members of Bradford Council, MP Scot Davidson, the Bradford Board of Trade, and community partners were in front of the Finance Building in the downtown core on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the launch of the campaign.
"We are coming out of a time where all businesses, small, medium, and large, need our support," said VP of Public Relations for the BBT, Jennifer Harrison. "We want these businesses to continue so really bolstering that consumer confidence is a key piece of this."
Part of the program includes contests, billboard advertising, and local media partnerships.
Last year, the BBT held a popular social media takeout challenge, which helped support the local restaurant industry while in lockdown. The campaign was so successful that they have decided to do the same challenge again, but this time including all local businesses.
The BBT will also be handing out special Shop Local window decals for storefronts to display. The goal is to help initiate conversations with patrons about the importance of spending money at local establishments.
To help support businesses, the BBT is offering a customizable digital toolkit of social media posts, including templates for Facebook and Instagram.
Five hundred kits were made and will be available for bricks and mortar businesses in Bradford West Gwillimbury. Members of the BBT will be out and about distributing the kits in the next few weeks.
"I think every community should be doing this, support local business, shop local," said Coun. Mark Contois. "It's not insignificant, it makes huge importance right now, these people are trying to survive and recover from economic debt and it's time to move forward, and how do we do that? We support them."
MP Davidson says it's time for the community to give back to businesses as much as we can.
"We are the soup and salad bowl of Canada! We got to support our farmers and small businesses," he said. "It's going to be part of the recovery to support them."
Earlier this week, the BBT sent out notifications to local businesses that have been nominated for a BBT Business Excellence Award.
The annual awards ceremony will be taking place on Friday, Oct. 29, which will recognize and celebrate members of Bradford's business community.
"It's been so exciting the last little bit seeing all the nominations," said Harrison. "It's a wonderful positive thing coming out of a time that hasn't been so positive."
More details on the #ShopLocalBWG campaign will be released over the next few weeks.