So, what does Small Town Love... y'know, DO?

Glad you asked. ‘Cause we already do a whole lot — and this is just the beginning!

HERE & NOW.

Small Town Love is online (and offline) experiment in building real, human connections — between neighbors, between families, and between local customers and the independent shops that make their communities lovable.

At Small Town Love, we believe that mom ‘n pop businesses deserve major attention — and we’re here to (re)introduce people to the remarkable shops and services, right in their own backyard.

But highlighting the best local spots to crack open your wallet is just the beginning . . . We’re bringing what we do best — hand-spun, heart-centered marketing and idea generation — and focusing our energy on the small towns we live in . . . and love.

WE BUILD LOCAL ECONOMIES

We provide support and mentorship to entrepreneurs and community partners to be leaders in small business development activities in small towns. We give workshops and presentations on small business growth, innovative strategies for harnessing a strong local economy and community economic development. We help independent business owners and communities to promote and advertise small businesses through our successful buy-local guides.

WE CREATE ONLINE COMMUNITIES.

Working with economic development champions we are able to help independent business owners to crank out creative marketing and storytelling campaigns that are engaging, thriving and highlight the unique and independent businesses that give our small towns their personality and soul. Our most successful project to date, Love Northern BC, has nearly 30 communities participating in sharing the local love.

WE THROW PARTIES.

We help local community champions throw successful shopping events, business-building workshops and mixers for entrepreneurs — as well as hosting our own events like our Project Launch Parties showcasing local businesses. It’s just one shindig after another . . .

WE GIVE BACK.

We support local education and non-profit organizations, by building basic website profiles and offering a space to publicize events — at no charge. And we’re committed to re-investing a portion of our profits, right back into the community we serve – both through in kind services as well as cash and fundraising opportunities.

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Big city residents are just beginning to grasp what small town folks have known all along — that shopping local keeps the economy thriving, and keeps creative people (and job opportunities) in your community. And shopping local allows small town business owners to funnel even more cash back into the local economy — sponsoring baseball teams, donating services to silent auctions, and rallying support for neighbours in need.

In the age of mass franchises, corporate chains and ‘friendships’ that exist solely in cyberspace, people are starving for face-to-face contact — for the local shopkeeper who remembers your name.

Love your Small Town and it will love you back.

People appreciate unique, charming and memorable shopping experiences. They might do the majority of their weekly shopping at WalMart — and that’s OK, for now — but we want to inspire a spending shift, where more of their dollars are funneling into local businesses. Even a 10% shift can pave the way for growth, new jobs, and give cash-strapped business owners the ability to purchase supplies from other local business owners.

When we shop local, everyone matters — and everyone benefits.

We’re focused on one crucial result: to raise the visibility bar for small town residents and business owners, alike.
More foot traffic. More web traffic. More resources. More recognition. And more jobs.

Our vision is to provide like-minded organizations with the tools to achieve:

1. Heightened visibility and cashflow for independent businesses — an economic Renaissance, starting in the heart and soul of our small town communities.
2. A sophisticated web and social media presence for every single one of the business owners in your network.
3. Streamlined and simple project management tools to engage your members in the process of building a buy local program.
4. LOVE. The ultimate business result. We’re talking compassion, respect, community engagement, and citizenship. Starting with where you shop. It’s all love.

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So, what’s our story? Glad you asked that too!

I am an entrepreneur, community-builder, graphic designer and localist. I thrive in the process of change-making, collaboration and idea jamming. I love my small hometown, and strongly believe in the resilience of a community built together.

I, too, was born and raised here in small town northern BC (Quesnel to be exact) —and after living in big cities in the US and Europe, I’ve fallen (back) in love with small town life. . . the kind of love that makes you want to pitch in and give back and Small Town Love is born of my experiences in my own small town.

I have spent the past few years building local community websites in northern BC through a partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust, and am now able to expand our services into the rest of BC and beyond. We want to raise the visibility bar for small town residents and business owners, near and far and we are currently building even more tools to support others who share our vision for more resilient economies in all our small towns.

It’s all about stories and connections — connecting business owners with the resources they need to tell their stories, and connecting residents with the stories that will inspire them to shop local. We’ve seen incredible results in northern BC, we and know we can facilitate these economy-shifting connections in more small towns given the opportunity.

Want to join the movement?

If you live in central or northern BC, it is likely that we have launched, or are planning to launch a project in your community through our partnership with Northern Development and our local community economic development champions.

If you are from outside of northern BC, and if you are a part of an existing buy local or economic development organization we would love to hear from you! We are currently building a complete suite of tools to support people who share our vision for supporting small businesses, and would love to know how we can help you succeed.

Find out how you can become a Small Town Love Ambassador, get coaching and marketing support for your indie business, hire Amy to speak to or run a workshop for your group. Send us an email!

Here’s just a few things people are saying about Small Town Love:

Thinking Big About Buying Local – BC Business
Spreading the Love across Northern BC – Small Business BC
Rekindling the Romance with our local businesses – Northword Magazine
CBC Radio West Interview – Book Launch 2011
Spreading the Small Town Love – Cariboo Observer
50 Creative Women who Inspire and Inform – Oh My Handmade

Dawson Creek joins Small Town Love – Northeast News
Small Town Love Valemount Interview – Valemount Community TV
Valemount to get Small Town Love – The Rocky Mountain Goat
Love Downtown PG Campaign Launch – Prince George Citizen
Small Town Love could spread to the Hazeltons – Interior News
Buy-Local Program spreads for 2014 – Prince George Citizen

Want to bring Small Town Love to your town?

Say hello on Twitter & Facebook or send an email.