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About Us


Did You Know?

Did you know that the Kitchener-Waterloo area is home to more than 30,000 businesses, most of which are locally-owned and operated 'independent' businesses?

Neither do many people when we introduce them to ShopKW.ca. Not only do many not know how many businesses there are, they have no idea just how many products and services are available locally without going to a chain store or shopping online with Amazon.

It turns out that pretty much anything we need can be found in my own backyard with some 'digging', but it requires more effort than some people are willing to spend to find out what is available. At the same time, big box stores and online mega stores with more marketing power are capturing customers' purchases and drawing them in and away from the downtown core and local independent businesses.
 
 
How It Works

To reverse this trend, we built a local online marketplace and directory that features local businesses and the products and services they offer. The site is accessible from both computers and smart phones via a mobile version.

ShopKW.ca's community marketplace enables consumers to buy online for in-store pick-up or delivery, read and write business reviews, purchase online gift certificates, view restaurant menus, find out when businesses are open and how they can be paid, as well as contact business owners via email.

As you can imagine, all of these features offer both businesses and consumers tons of value, but the real power of ShopKW.ca is the offline community marketing campaign that involves hundreds of businesses displaying signs and stickers that remind locals to shop locally at ShopKW.ca.

By coming together under a common message that also drives people to a web destination where they can take action, ShopKW.ca harnesses the collective power of the local business community to give local a voice that's even louder than the big online brands that dot the digital landscape.

Because local businesses generally keep more of the money spent with them within the community than online chains (45% for local vs. 0% for online), shopping with local businesses leads to a stronger local economy.

This benefits everyone in the community as strong local economies provide greater access to opportunities and also more funding for local initiatives like parks and recreation, services and infrastructure, health and education.

By informing local shoppers about the choices available to them, as well as the hidden benefits of shopping locally, ShopKW.ca aims to influence residents to spend more of their money locally instead of sending their dollars outside of the community where it will benefit someone else's area instead of our own.
 
Meet the Owners

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is bringing this important Shop Local initiative to the region. We have been a champion of local business for over 130 years.

 
What You Can Do

There are several easy steps you can take to help us build up the community and support local businesses:
  1. Use ShopKW.ca as often as possible to learn what's available locally.
  2. Make informed purchases and consider the total impact of your spending, not just the price you pay.
  3. Encourage great local business owners to keep going by posting reviews on their profile pages.
  4. Buy our local gift certificates.
  5. Frequent locally-owned restaurants.
  6. The Chamber can always use more help spreading the word, and we greatly appreciate those who help convey the message by putting up signs and stickers or linking to ShopKW.ca online.
 
Click here to request free stickers or a badge for your website.
 
Thanks for taking the time to read about ShopKW.ca. We are passionate about building up K-W and love to connect with like-minded individuals.

Feel free to use the comments below to let me know about things you're doing to spread the word about shopping locally or to make Kitchener-Waterloo a stronger, more vibrant community.






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