When everything came to a grinding halt last March, Nanda Wubbs-Huizenga quickly came up with an idea to help local businesses. She and Jen Feeny, from Jen Feeny Marketing, started the website My Shop Local in April 2020 to connect North Dundas residents with the businesses and services around them, myshoplocal.ca
The online directory lists almost 400 businesses and service providers in North Dundas. Businesses are listed by category, and you can see what pandemic protocols a business has put in place, such as curbside pickup, and what services are offered during Covid-19. Business owners can immediately update their listing to reflect a change in how the business is responding to new rules from the Health Unit or province. Businesses do not pay for this service. The website was set up in order to support local business in an unprecedented time. For some, it is their only avenue of advertising at this time.
Its inauguration was not without challenges. The website was hijacked by a malicious individual or entity. The entire site had to be re-created, taking time, money, and expertise. The website has been sponsored by Wubs Transit, Precision Diesel, No Limits Auto Parts, Jen Feeny Marketing, Nation Valley News, and the North Dundas Business Centre. The Township of North Dundas, and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry provided a one-time start-up donation of $400 and $200 respectively. There is an ongoing cost to running the website, and they are looking for sponsorship for the site going into their second year. Contact [email protected] to help with sponsoring this community resource.
There is a resource page on the website dedicated to linking people, businesses, employers, and employees, to various resources available during the pandemic. This includes a link to suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and a link to Community Food Share. If you or someone you know is in need of food or housing assistance, please contact Community Food Share in Winchester at 613-774-0188, or [email protected], or House of Lazarus at 613-989-3830, or 613-612-3830. New businesses can enter their information on My Shop Local, and it will be included in the directory. Businesses that need help accessing programs are encouraged to contact North Dundas Business Development Officer at [email protected] for one-on-one support.