When COVID hit, we wanted to act fast to help our local businesses. The Town of Gananoque and The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands worked with local businesses to bring a shop local campaign to life.
Our first step was to work with a local businesses who donated THOUSANDS of Sunflowers seeds. Next we created a shop local campaign flyer and stuffed over 5,000 envelopes with 4 free sunflower seeds per envelope and the shop local flyer. We had stickers made for the envelopes with the tagline “Grow with Us”. The Flyer encouraged people to support local businesses and also provided suggestions on how they could do so. We also encouraged people to share their seed progress. We had a MASSIVE positive response from the public. People were so excited to get the seeds and get planting. We promoted on both the Gananoque and Township website and social media. We received many pictures and stories about the sunflowers seeds, it gave people a little bit of hope in a very dark time.
After the sunflowers and shop local flyer were mailed to every home in Gananoque and the Township, we then implemented the next stage of our shop local campaign. We dropped off post cards to local storefront and asked them to pass them out to people who purchased local. People them share pictures online of their purchases using the hashtag #growwithus. Each person who did this was entered in to win a gift certificate from a local shop. Next steps included interviewing local store owners in videos about what shopping local meant to them. People who liked, shared and commented on the videos were entered in to win a gift card from a local shop. One video alone was viewed over 10, 000 times. https://www.facebook.com/TownOfGananoque/videos/1148648278849319/
What we loved about this project is not only how the community rallied behind their local shops, but he comments and shares all of the images and videos received. For example, a common comment was “I’ve never been there, I cant wait to go”. We accomplished what we had hoped, which was to support local businesses, offer free promotion to those businesses, and create awareness to the community about what we have to offer. This has always been a challenge for us and we felt that this project helped create a new understanding of local businesses and how important it is to the community and of course the best part, seeing people support a businesses they knew little to noting about before we started this!