Small Town Love Campaign Spreads in Northern BC

Love Northern BC had its beginnings in Quesnel, B.C. with the launch of Small Town Love in 2011. Quesnel entrepreneur Amy Quarry developed a vision through her company, Small Town Love Media Inc., to help small businesses hold their own against the onslaught of chain stores and online competition, and to inspire communities to support and shop with their local business owners and neighbours.

What does Small Town Love do?

Small Town Love is designed to promote and celebrate businesses in their community. Amy and her team focus on business coaching, community events and of course their popular guidebooks. Small businesses pay a nominal one-time membership fee and receive:

  • An online profile of their business, prepared by professional writer.
  • Ability to publish events and promotions on the Small Town Love website.
  • A professional photo-shoot which can be used for marketing purposes.
  • And promotional tools to use for business.

Launched in 2011, the program has been a huge success and has drawn the community of Quesnel together. Their first guidebook launched with a print-run of 2,000 copies. It sold out in just four months. Since then a 2nd edition has been published and there are more in the works.

Beyond their wildest expectations

In 2013, the potential of the Small Town Love vision began to be realized through ongoing committed funding and support from Northern Development Initiative Trust, who worked with Amy over the last few years to expand her Small Town Love experiment into a movement across the north.

Chances are, if you live in northern B.C. there is likely a LOVE project in your community. Through ongoing partnerships between the Trust and local community economic development champions, Love Northern BC has now evolved into one of the largest shop local programs in Canada. Over 34 central and northern B.C. communities are participating, showcasing well over 1,500 unique, locally-owned and independent northern B.C. businesses, across a region that covers about two thirds of the province. And the project just continues to grow.

 

Small Town Love catches on across northern BC

What’s Next?

In a region as diverse, creative, and spirited as northern B.C., there is no shortage of inspiration to continue to develop heart-centreed marketing ideas. Love Northern BC will continue to seek and develop opportunities to build real, human connections – between neighbours, shoppers, business owners, and visitors – throughout the region.

 

Here’s a video, produced by Valemount Community TV, that showcases the initiative in one rural BC community.

 

For more on Small Town Love, see:

Spreading the love across northern BC (BC Small Business)

Thinking big about buying local (BC Business)

Dawson Creek joins Small Town Love (Northeast News)

 

For more on rural development & revitalization generally, visit our Rural Revitalization and Economic Development pages.