Campaigns launched to encourage Kingstonians to buy local amid coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Kingstonians encouraged to spend and buy locally'
Kingstonians encouraged to spend and buy locally
Several online campaigns are asking Kingstonians to buy locally, keeping their spending dollars in the community – May 14, 2020

Small businesses have been one of the hardest-hit sectors since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

Recently, through partnerships with the Downtown Kingston BIA, a new online campaign was launched to encourage residents in the Kingston, Ont., region to shop local.

With businesses slowly beginning to reopen, there are now several online campaigns to promote and encourage the community to buy local.

Launched on May 8, the Love Kingston website and Twitter feed highlights local businesses that are open and tells their story in the current pandemic.

“Try to make local decisions before hitting that button for Amazon, for example,” says Michele Langlois, general manager and marketing director at Downtown Kingston. “On one hand, it’s encouraging Kingstonians to shop local.

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“We also look at it as a salutation … a love letter to our businesses.”

The website Kingston Delivers has updated its page with a new tag line of ‘We’re going Rogue’ — a cheeky response to recent comments by Ontario premier Doug Ford. The site also directs consumers to keep their money local.

“I think it’s great,” says Langlois. “I think any support that anybody can give to businesses in particular but also to our charities is great … We are the recovery teams.”

Kingston Delivers, a directory of sorts, also points visitors to locally grown food and farmers in the region on a newly launched site called Modern Locavore.

The campaign has also launched the sale of T-shirts that read ‘Kingston Economic Recovery Team’ on the front and ‘#Rogue’ on the back.

Courtesy: Kingston Delivers. Courtesy: Kingston Delivers

The organization hopes residents will wear them when spending locally, online or in person.

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“A great byproduct of this situation we find ourselves in is that these organizations are working more collaboratively, and more closely than ever before,” Langlois said.

The Ford government has extended its emergency orders until May 19 and with no clear end to this crisis, experts say it could take years before life and business operations get back to normal.

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