Online tool helps consumers find local businesses

Our Okanagan project attempts to highlight local business online

What is Our Okanagan?

Our valley is filled with many wonderful products/services and great opportunities.  The challenge we have is finding them easily and quickly.  Our Okanagan is an online tool developed to address this challenge.  By allowing organizations to post a profile outlining their products and services, consumer can easily search our valley making easier to shop locally and keep our dollars circulating in our own economy. The site also contains information on events, job postings, volunteer opportunities and resources available in the valley.

Who is Our Okanagan?

Our Okanagan is collaboration between Community Futures, Okanagan Partnership, OSTEC, Chambers of Commerce and the Economic Development Community. A steering committee with representatives from each of the organization leads the project. A project team of staff from Community Futures and the Okanagan Partnership implement the project plan.

How much does Our Okanagan cost?

To search, it’s free.  For businesses and non-profits to registering and post a profile, it is free until January 2012. The steering committee’s goal is to keep the costs as low as possible to allow every business and non-profit in the Valley to register.  Our Okanagan will remain a non-profit service for our valley.

Where did the funding for Our Okanagan come from?

Funding for the development of Our Okanagan was made available from Rural Economic Diversification Initiative of BC, the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, Okanagan College, University of British Columbia – Okanagan and the Ministry of Housing and Social Development – Employment and Labour Market Services.

Why is shopping local important our economy?

The impact of shopping locally is well documented in the last ten years. When a dollar is spent on a locally produced product at a local store, the economic impact is much greater, often double, than if the product is produced or purchased outside of the region. A locally spent dollar in put directly back into the economy and gets recycled, increasing the economic impact of the purchase. The local store where you made the purchase is likely to use part of the revenue from your purchase will pay part of the wages of the employees, or be used to advertise in a local media source, or pay for local services to improve their business. The money is spent again in the community. If the product is made locally, the revenue from the sale supports the wages of the manufacturers and all of the shops that supply the raw materials to make the product, again often staying in the region increasing the economic impact of the purchase.

 

For more information, please contact Brad Clements, 250.306.4192 or brad@ourokanagan.ca

 

 

Contributed  by Brad Clements

 

 

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