This being small business week across the country, there will be countless campaigns and promotional events pumping the tires of entrepreneurs who contribute to the Canadian economy.
Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, one St. John’s woman is doing her part to promote local business through a social media campaign called #50daysofsupportinglocal.
The goal, Katie Harvey explains, is to make her peers more aware of what’s available within our own borders and the importance of buying locally.
“We have to put our money back into our province. It’s pointless to be sending money to China,” says the 24-year-old, who is originally from Cupids. “You can get beautiful clothes here, you go to the farmers’ market and you can get your groceries. I think it’s important that young people know that you can do this and I think it’s important to make it easier for them.”
Harvey says she was spurred to action after observing the love-hate relationship many young Newfoundlanders have with their home province and how it has affected their mindsets around living here.
“I was hearing people all the time talking about how you can’t get anything here, how you have to order everything on the internet.
“I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s pretty easy to live locally.”
For each of the 50 days, Harvey is posting a photo of herself modeling or sampling goods from a local small business on Instagram and Twitter.
She decided to take those social media routes because they’re easy to produce and consume.
“I think with young people nowadays, we’re consuming so much that people don’t want to read a huge blog post.”
Some of the retailers featured over the first 11 days include clothing retailers such as Twisted Sister and Opal & Onyx in St. John’s and food service operations such as Lighthouse Picnics in Ferryland and The Boreal Diner in Bonavista.
As the campaign proceeds, Harvey, a folklorist who works for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will feature more businesses from St. John’s and around the island, with a focus on new operations.
“I’m trying to do as much as I can in the province with the resources I have,” she says.
“I don’t have a strict plan for the remaining days, but I know for sure I’ll be able to make it work.”
You can follow Harvey’s campaign on Instagram and Twitter by searching @katieaharvey or #50dayssupportinglocal.