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The Local Collective Puts a Neighbourhood Up For Lease to Take on Amazon's Online Muscle

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Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area supports local businesses by offering a scary look into what could become a future state

The Local Collective Puts a Neighbourhood Up For Lease to Take on Amazon's Online Muscle

Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) launches the NOT FOR LEASE campaign, to encourage the support of small and locally owned businesses in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood throughout this holiday season. 

With the most recent Toronto-wide lockdown forcing small non-essential businesses to close, it has become even more important for consumers to continue their shopping locally, instead of turning to giants like Amazon big box stores. 

MPP Bhutila Karpoche, Member of Provincial Parliament Parkdale-High Park, says: “Small businesses have had an extremely difficult year and, now, with the lockdown so close to the holiday season, they need our support more than ever. All levels of government must step up and save our main streets and we as community members need to shop local. We do not want to see our small businesses be forced to shut down and the ‘for lease’ signs to go up."

The campaign was conceptualised and developed by local Toronto agency The Local Collective, who was given the objective of creating a campaign of encouraging the Roncesvalles community to shop locally and  support their neighbourhood stores and restaurants online thus enhancing their local economy and enriching the community as a whole. These one-of-a-kind businesses are not only vibrant, charming and walkable, helping reduce carbon footprint, but preserve the unique character of the neighbourhood.

"Now more than ever, small businesses are going up against big massive companies like Amazon. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our neighbourhoods in Toronto and of our country. It's up to all of us to support what we have locally, when and if we can," said Kaitlin Doherty, The Local Collective, founder and managing director.

The programme was launched by placing NOT FOR LEASE signage on over 50 store windows spanning several blocks along Roncesvalles Avenue, and covering the windows in craft paper for one day only as a reminder of what can happen if we only think of larger retailers during these pandemic altered times. On the outside the stores appeared as though they had gone out of business, but upon closer inspection the message was one of support and requesting help from their local community. 

"Roncy is such a vibrant neighbourhood. Only a global pandemic could keep this community at home and I'm really proud of how this community has handled the seriousness of this time. This campaign is a reminder to shop local even when we are shopping online," said Adam Langley, vice-chair Roncesvalles Village BIA.

The goal of this initiative is to show the people of Roncesvalles that without their support and patronage, their local neighbourhood businesses many of which are owned and operated by their neighbours and friends, will not survive through this pandemic. Ultimately, if the businesses dwindle, close down and leave, so will their neighbourhood property value.  

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The Local Collective, Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:49:10 GMT