Small Town Love is the brain child of Amy Quarry who having grown up in Quesnel, wanted to give back to her home town and support the local small business owners and neighbours in her community.
Amy first connected with Small Business BC in 2012 when she became a Top 5 finalist for Community Impact in that year’s Small Business BC Awards. Her passion for supporting her town was contagious and is something that continues to grow the Small Town Love initiative.
What does Small Town Love do?
Small Town Love is designed to promote and celebrate businesses in their community. Amy and her team focus on business coaching, community events and of course their popular guidebooks. Small businesses pay a nominal one-time membership fee and receive:
- An online profile of their business, prepared by professional writer.
- Ability to publish events and promotions on the Small Town Love website.
- A professional photo-shoot which can be used for marketing purposes.
- And promotional tools to use for business.
Launched in 2011, the program has been a huge success and has drawn the community of Quesnel together. Their first guidebook launched with a print-run of 2,000 copies. It sold out in just four months. Since then a 2nd edition has been published and there are more in the works.
Building the Love in Northern BC
Inspired by the success of the program, Amy teamed with BC’s Northern Development Initiative Trust to spread the love. In 2013 they launched a pilot across Logan Lake, 100 Mile House, Valemount, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof and Burns Lake, to replicate the Small Town Love initiative. It resulted in more than 200 locally owned, independent businesses gaining marketing, exposure and more importantly community. And they still have a wait-list of more small businesses wanting to join.
The pilot was so well received that the board of the Northern Development Initiative Trust approved funding for an additional two years, to help role the project out across another dozen communities.
The Northern Development Initiative Trust’s CEO, Janine North commented, “The pilot program was a huge success in 2013, and we look forward to continuing to partner with communities and entrepreneurs to get the word out about the great locally owned businesses throughout our region.”
The new communities in the 2014/15 program include:
- Village of McBride
- Village of Telkwa
- Northern Rockies Regional Municipality
- Town of Smithers
- Village of Fraser Lake
- Village of Granisle
- Village of Ashcroft
- District of Houston
- Village of Lytton
How to Get Involved
The Northern Development Initiative Trust is working with these new communities over the coming weeks and months to schedule the launch of the initiative later this year.
If you have an independent business in one of the communities listed above then get in touch with your local municipal office or economic development officer and find out how you can participate.
For more information visit smalltownlove.com