Guelph Shops Website

Submitted ByCity of Guelph


Purpose of Project (including anticipated outcomes): The purpose of this project is to encourage residents to support Guelph businesses and keep their spent dollars within the local community rather than outside. We also aim to build awareness of our existing businesses and all the great things they have to offer. During the tough time of COVID-19 we wanted to provide an opportunity for our residents to support local businesses and learn about businesses they may not have previously known about.

Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives (if known): The webpage has been visited more than 66,000 times (more than 34,000 unique views) since the launch. We also have more than 500 local businesses listed within the business directories. Many businesses have had nothing but great things to say about Guelph Shops and have been very happy with how it has helped drive traffic to their business. Residents have been happy with how easy we have made it to shop local. We have tried to make all promotion as inclusive as possible so that we are reaching as many of our residents and businesses as possible.

Challenges & Changes made

When launching this project, we were in the midst of COVID which made it difficult for planning and implementation. During a normal time, we would have been able to be in-person for meetings and brainstorms for what the website should look like and how it should function but instead we had to shift to virtual which can sometimes make things more difficult. Another challenge was working with so much business information prior to our launch. Trying to build the directories with so many businesses took a while because we anted to make sure as many businesses as possible were included at launch and that all of their information was correct. We also started with seven shopping categories but after launch we received some feedback from residents and businesses that a new category was needed for specialty businesses, so we added the new category. Since the launch we have listened to the community and adjusted the website as needed to make it the most effective and user-friendly.


Target Audience (demographics)

The target audience for is all local residents. We aimed to make the website as inclusive as possible.

Any specifics as detailed in the particular Awards Categories

We maintain this website on a daily basis. We frequently receive new business submissions for the directories as well as suggestions on how we can continue to grow the website. We also frequently look into best practices from other communities to continually improve the user experience. Guelph Shops has had a very positive effect on our City and both businesses and residents have found the website helpful.

Any details regarding the sustainability of your project

We have worked where possible to avoid printing materials for Guelph Shops and to avoid print media outlets. We have also worked to make this website as inclusive as possible for all audiences. Within our Guelph Shops Business Spotlight Profiles, we have worked to feature diverse businesses and business owners.