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York Region launches campaign reminding residents to shop local

'We just need to remind people of the faces behind these businesses,' says Newmarket chamber CEO
June 22, 2021
Joseph Quigley

York Region is encouraging residents to get out and support businesses by launching a new Shop Local YR challenge campaign.

The campaign urges people to shop at local businesses as the province begins to reopen and lift restrictions. The region plans to continue the campaign throughout the summer in partnership with member municipalities, across different media platforms.

Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said businesses need this kind of support after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emmerson told council. “Now, more than ever before, they need support to stay on their feet.”

The campaign asks residents to purchase from local stores and share support on social media with the #ShopLocalYR hashtag. Businesses can also participate by sharing on social media about themselves, with #smallbusinesschallenge and #YRShoplocal. York Region also released a promotional video to go with the effort.

Newmarket Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Tracy Walter said any campaign that helps people remember their local businesses is important.

“Supporting local and helping our community get back to business will benefit all of us," Walter said. "The dollars go directly back into our local economy."

She added the chamber is working on its own Choose Local campaign efforts with the Town of Newmarket for the summer.

The province opened up patio dining and most retail spaces with limited capacity June 4. Walter said there was excitement around reopening, but people may be hesitant to go out in the days to come. The rise of online shopping is also a concern, she said.

“That’s what I think we just need to remind people of the faces behind these businesses. That they’re people too, and they have your safety as part of their focus,” Walter said.

York Region did a similar campaign at end of 2020 for the Christmas season, mostly using social media.

“We stand by all York Region businesses,” Emmerson said. “Together, our collective actions will help us emerge stronger."