The BC Marketplace is a website promoting small businesses in B.C., and encouraging people to shop locally. (Screenshot)

The BC Marketplace is a website promoting small businesses in B.C., and encouraging people to shop locally. (Screenshot)

Small businesses encouraged to join B.C. Marketplace website

Online resource encourages shoppers to stay local to help boost B.C. economies

Small businesses in the Fraser Valley and beyond have a fresh way to promote themselves, via a specialized website.

The BC Marketplace is an online resource showcasing more than 1,500 B.C.-based businesses, and it’s free to register to be included. The website’s aim is to help boost small-business growth while encouraging British Columbians to buy local.

There are dozens of various businesses already listed from within the Eastern Fraser Valley. Just a few of the businesses that have signed on include Harrison’s own Harrison Beach HOtel and Blue Dandelion Gifts, Twisted Sisters Bath and Body from Chilliwack and Beadifferent Canada in Hope.

The BC Marketplace was launched in April 2020 by Small Business BC (SBBC) to give immediate support to small businesses during COVID-19 when consumer shopping trends shifted online. With a growing number of businesses joining the online community, the BC Marketplace has become a long-term solution for B.C. businesses.

“British Columbians understand the value of supporting local businesses, and the BC Marketplace is a great tool to help people shop local,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “It is also a great way for businesses to showcase their products and services. With the holiday season upon us, let’s recommit to shop local and offer support to people working in our communities.”

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented small businesses across Canada with unprecedented challenges and they have demonstrated incredible resiliency,” said Melanie Joly, federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “That is why the Government of Canada is committed to helping entrepreneurs by supporting projects such as the BC Marketplace. Shopping local is a great way to support our local economies, and this vital resource will help small businesses expand their e-commerce footprint and attract new customers beyond their backyards.”

The B.C. government and the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, have each provided $169,000 to Small Business BC for the BC Marketplace. The funding was used to improve the website’s functionality, including enhanced profiles for small businesses and regional search capabilities for consumers.

“As a small business owner, it is wonderful to be included on the BC marketplace. It is a great resource that contributes to supporting and shopping locally this holiday season,” said Leigh Joseph, owner, Sḵwálwen Botanicals. “Having one website to visit with so many vibrant and diverse local businesses listed is a great way to learn more about the businesses in our communities.”

To learn more, visit: https://marketplacebc.ca/ or https://smallbusinessbc.ca/.

With files from Adam Louis

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