During this pandemic, it’s become clear that small businesses are often on the brink of closing their doors. Especially new businesses, and those who offer services.
It’s been amazing to see the Kingston community rallying around local businesses, and providing support in many different ways. From free bits of advertising, to website support, and genuine referrals and recommendations, we’ve raised each other up through this remarkably difficult time.
If you have a small business, there are lots of places to find ongoing business support.
Which of these work for your local business needs?
SupportSME is a marketplace style platform which allows users to pre-purchase services and gift cards for use at a future time, when you may feel comfortable visiting these establishments.
Through the app, or their website, SupportSME allows consumers to browse businesses that may not yet be open, or providing their full range of services, and make a purchase. These purchases will help these small businesses stay alive while they prepare their locations for safe reopenings.
Visit the SupportSME website here: https://supportsme.ca/customer
Sign up as a merchant here: https://supportsme.ca/business#
Support Kingston/Love Kingston
Support Kingston is a website offering a free business listing and some social media sharing for local Kingston businesses. Consumers can browse the site by category, or perform a specific search.
This website provides exposure for local businesses, giving local consumers the ability to support Kingston small businesses with their purchases.
Browse or search the website here: https://www.supportkingston.ca/
Sign up and create a listing for your business here: https://www.supportkingston.ca/add-listing/
Free advertising on Kingstonist
Kingstonist is launching their Kingstonist Perks program in the month of August. Subscribers to the Kingstonist website will receive Perks at local businesses.
The Perks program is free to businesses for their first year. Businesses are supported by mentions on Kingstonist’s Facebook page once a week, as locations providing Perks to subscribers.
What is a Perk? Something your business can sustainably “give away” to customers. Perks are entirely up to the business owner. Perhaps a percentage discount, BOGO offer, or free gift with purchase.
For more information about the Kingstonist Perks program, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stats on the Kingstonist audience can be found here: https://www.kingstonist.com/order-ads/
Other resources to support local business in Kingston:
Kingston EcDev is has a comprehensive web page of digital resources to support local businesses, including the Digitial Main Street Ontario program which offers support to businesses who would like to improve their online presence.
My mailing list – I reach out with opportunities for advertising on Kingstonist, and for potential inclusion in any other articles I may be writing. Join here.
Downtown Kingston! is running a twice weekly contest/promotion for businesses in the BIA. Customers make purchases at downtown stores, then take photos of their purchases. After posting their images on Facebook, and tagging the businesses, the consumers are entered to win a prize. More details can be found here: https://www.downtownkingston.ca/downtown-online/covid-19-resources-information/more
Operation Support Local, is a free advertising promotion on K-Rock, 105.7, Kiss 102.7, and Country 93.5. The promotion is a listing of local businesses operating during COVID-19 on their respective websites. The stations were also mentioning businesses on air, but I’m not sure if that is continuing. Learn more here:
Looking to buy a face mask from local makers and businesses? Check out this list: Where to find masks in Kingston
Besides providing great support to local businesses, Kingston is an amazing place to live. Check out my article Reasons I Love Kingston for more details about the Kingston community.
Do you know of more support or opportunities for local businesses? Drop them in the comments! This list can be easily updated, so share any details below.