You can buy nearly everything online with a couple of clicks. But buying local? That’s often trickier.
Thanks to funding from the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC), Local Initiative Project (LIP) grants might make it easier for local shops to get online.
The money partners Haliburton County sellers with free access to ShopCloseBuy. ca, an online local vendor platform.
It’s an online store with an interface similar to Amazon where local sellers can flaunt their wares.
“I love the local part of things,” said Kyla Grexton, who owns knit and crochet company Keep Me In Stitchez. “I’m a firm believer in shopping local, I try to be conscious of where I spend my money.”
Grexton received a grant that helped launch her products on ShopCloseBuy.ca. Funding includes coaching from SIRCH, as well as a spot at their Haliburton Village storefront.
“Businesses that apply and are selected will receive a multitude of benefits,” HCDC said, “including social media coaching and promotion, enhanced online marketing and much more.
” Christine Hewitt of ShopeCloseBuy.ca said the grant “is really going to allow new and emerging businesses to have a leg up,” in efforts to share products. “This platform is a unified one-stop community hub for consumers anywhere.”
Grexton said applying was “fairly easy. The tech support with ShopCloseBuy.ca is amazing.”
Eric Wolfe, marketing and sales coordinator for SIRCH, said he’ll work with businesses who receive the grant on their marketing and produce a video they can use online.
“We’re also here to provide answers for any questions asked,” he said.
Grexton said she’s “really excited” about the future of the online platform. “I really hope the word gets out and we get more vendors.”
Ten out of 20 grants are available. To qualify, businesses must have been operating for a year or less and have earned less than $35,000 in the year prior to applying.
Applications close at the end of February. To apply or find out more visit shopclosebuy.ca or email info@ shopclosebuy.ca or call 705-457-9977.