Helping businesses during COVID-19 recovery

A person wearing jeans and red sneakers carrying several colourful shopping bags.

The City’s shop local platform Guelph Shops continued performing well through the end of 2021.

The ongoing campaign helps to support local businesses during COVID-19 recovery, and was recognized on the international stage with a silver award of excellence in economic development from the International Economic Development Council.

As part of the 2021 campaign, the Guelph Shops Business Spotlight Profile series was launched as a way to further feature local businesses and introduce residents to businesses they may not have known about previously.

Seventeen diverse businesses were spotlighted in 750-word profiles, which provided information on the business owner, background on the business, and how residents could visit their website. In addition, a social media video series featuring local businesses was created in partnership with Ward1 Studios (a local Guelph business) and launched through the new Guelph Shops Instagram account.

The City also partnered with the Guelph Chamber of Commerce to develop a 2021 shop local holiday campaign, leveraging more than $100,000 in partnership dollars. The holiday campaign included a Holiday Wish Book featuring more than 40 local business products and services, advertising through local advertisers, and holiday colouring pages and gift tags to encourage residents to support local during the holiday shopping season.

Cover of Guelph Shops Wish Book - 'Tis the season to support small business. Commit to buying 3 to 5 items locally and  #shop3to5tothrive

Related resources

Additional 2021 highlights

Tomato vine with a ripe plum tomato

Driving circular economic and social innovation

In June 2020, the Our Food Future project team shifted much of its focus to Grow Back Better, a 10-point response to the impacts of COVID-19. Commitments included seeding rapid business innovation, supporting emergency food delivery programs and helping families discover the joys of at-home gardening. However, other priorities didn’t slow down, and some exciting developments were announced in 2021.

Driving circular economic and social innovation
5 people wearing safety helmets and vests standing near a hole in the ground with a spool of fibre optic cable on a trailer behind them.

Building a digital network

In June 2021, with a shovel in the ground, the City took its first step towards building its own digital network, removing its reliance on third-party service providers.

Building a digital network