Campaign urges local shopping

Small local businesses take the biggest hit as more consumers shop online or travel to the United States for deals.

A new online campaign called Shop the Neighbourhood from the Yellow Pages company offers free digital advertising space and mobile marketing to encourage shoppers to support local, small businesses. The target shopping day is Nov. 29.

Yellow Pages invites local businesses to enter their basic information online, which will be updated and syndicated to all major search engines. The program was launched in Calgary Oct. 24.

Julien Biliot, chief executive officer of Yellow Pages, said prosperous local businesses lead to prosperous neighbourhoods.

“The growth of online and cross border shopping affects local businesses and communities. Dollars leave the community,” he said.

The concept was launched last year in Toronto with plans to expand the campaign across the country.

A Statistics Canada report found cross border shopping by Canadians in the U.S. rose 72 percent between 2006-12. Canadians spent an estimated $8 billion in the U.S. in 2012.

Another report found three-quarters of Canadians research purchases online but less than half of local businesses have updated websites.

For more information, visit YP.ca, shoptheneighbourhood.ca and the Yellow Pages mobile app.

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