These days, you could probably go to Walmart and buy just about anything you need.
But with so many big box stores dominating the shopping landscape, it’s becoming tougher and tougher for local businesses.
Two new start-ups right here in London are trying to stress the importance of shopping locally.
Ryan Beliveau, a self-made marketer, has been working on the Shop Local London app for 3 years.
“Essentialy, members can sign up for free, and they go in and can enjoy all the perks that our partner shop local companies are engaged in,” explains Beliveau.
“These local businesses will then be able to connect with the customer directly.”
Beliveau has put years of his time into creating an application that rewards individuals and businesses for staying local. So, why is it so important?
“There’s such a disadvantage for small businesses; these big box companies have top of mind awareness with the consumers, and the little guy, who has potentially unique products or services to offer become unnoticed,” says Beliveau.
“The more that our local businesses are supported, those business owners are going to in turn shop locally themselves, and support other local businesses.”
While Beliveau works away on releasing Shop Local London, Tim Sharpe has made waves locally with his London Local Box idea, which relies on a subscription based model.
“The subscription box is really growing, not so much in Canada but definitely in the United States, and I thought why not try one that’s all local,” says Sharpe.
“I’ve seen a lot of local small businesses struggling to get awareness out, and I thought this would be a great idea.”
Sharpe hopes to grow personally, while also supporting local vendors. And based on his first few weeks, businesses is taking off.
“I’m expecting to expand this idea to other cities; I’m also creating speciality boxes for babies and new moms,” he explains.
“I’ve had great support so far; I’ve quadrupled what I expected to do.”
Sharpe has also created a student box, which will only be $19.95, compared to the original $35 price tag.
He hopes the box can be a marketing tool for other vendors to promote their products. Like Beliveau, he realizes the importance of shopping locally.
“It ultimately comes down to small businesses; they don’t have the huge budgets like the Walmart’s and the Target’s, and we should all be supporting small businesses because they’re the majority of the economy anyways,” Sharpe asserts.
“I know how important it is to have that local support.”
Both Ryan Beliveau and Tim Sharpe are relying on Londoners to help their businesses ventures take off.
They’ve channeled their talents into ideas that will benefit small businesses in London, and hopefully, beyond.