Join the shop local movement
Kitchener-Waterloo consists of more than 30,000 businesses, most of which are locally-owned and operated businesses. Many people don’t realize how many businesses there are, and don’t realize that many products and services are available locally without going to a chain store or shopping online.
Pretty much anything you need can be found in your own backyard, but it usually requires a little more effort than people are willing to spend to find out where their purchases can be found locally. This is partially due to lower marketing budgets for small businesses, who struggle to compete with larger corporations.
To reverse this trend the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce became involved with the ShopLocal movement and brought ShopKW to the Waterloo Region. ShopKW is a local online marketplace and directory that features local businesses and the products and services they offer. ShopKW’s community marketplace enables consumers to:
- Buy online for in-store pick-up or delivery
- Read and write business reviews
- Purchase online gift certificates
- View restaurant menus
- Business hours
- Business payment methods
- Contact business owners via email
These features offer both businesses and consumers immense value, but the real power of ShopKW is the offline community marketing campaign that involves hundreds of businesses reminding locals to shop locally through ShopKW.ca. ShopKW harnesses the collective power of the local business community to give local a voice that’s even louder than the larger online brands.
Shopping locally grows our local economy; it also provides increased funding for local initiatives such as parks, recreation services and infrastructure. By informing local shoppers about the choices available to them locally, ShopKW aims to influence residents to spend more of their money locally.
how can i get involved?
- Use ShopKW regularly to learn about what is available locally
- Make informed purchases and consider the total impact of your spending, not just the overall price
- Encourage local business owners by writing reviews on their profile pages
- Buy local gift certificates
- Frequent locally-owned restaurants
- Put up signs or stickers showcasing ShopKW