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Feds embark on $33M shop local campaign

Ontario will get $8.8. million for initiative urging Canadians to support small, local businesses

The federal government is spending $33 million across the country to get Canadians to shop at small, local businesses to aid in their recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Announced on June 21, the funding will be parcelled out to provincial and territorial chambers of commerce to use for things like:

  • shop-local branding and digital content;
  • seasonal campaigns intended to direct shoppers to local small merchants;
  • promotions of online shopping, curbside pickup and delivery, as well as public health measures being implemented to make retail spaces safe and raise consumer confidence; and
  • marketing materials such as videos, social media visuals, and radio and newspaper ads that encourage consumers to buy from local businesses and patronize local restaurants and attractions.

Ontario's share of the funds is $8.8 million.

“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities – creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and need our support now more than ever,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in a news release.

“Together, with the help of the Government of Canada, chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country, we can make a difference for local businesses and help move Canada’s recovery forward.”

The federal government said funds were allocated to each province or territory according to the percentage of small businesses in its region.

Chambers will be able to solicit ideas from local organizations, and the funding is flexible to enable chambers to tailor campaigns to local needs and priorities, the government said.