Support Local

The Ontario government is encouraging people to “show your love for local” by exploring new and creative ways to reconnect with the unique small businesses and places that make the province’s communities special.

To promote this effort Destination Ontario, an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, is launching a new “Support Local” campaign.

The campaign is designed to instill a sense of pride of place and encourage people to safely be a tourist in their own communities.

Recognizing the importance of supporting Ontario’s entrepreneurs during this very difficult period, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Lisa MacLeod said: “COVID-19 has been a challenge for many local businesses that make up the fabric of our communities — we’ve all seen the anxiety in their eyes when we visit our favourite restaurant or artisan shop. We need local, as much as local needs us.”

Minister MacLeod continued: “That’s why this new marketing campaign is so important – it reminds us that there is an incredible community right outside our doorstep that we can safely explore and reconnect with. Clearly, we need to support our locally owned businesses now, when they need us the most.”

The new campaign will launch on TV, radio, digital and social media starting mid-December and run until mid-January 2021.

Advertisements will focus on the close-knit relationship between local businesses and the communities they serve.

The Minister pointed out that: “COVID-19 has resulted in a ‘triple threat’ of health, economic and social crises in Ontario. This campaign is a wonderful reminder for all of us that Ontario offers the world in one province, and that world begins just outside our door. By exploring our communities safely – whether it’s going to a local event or ordering takeout or delivery – we are not only providing much-needed support to our local businesses, we are helping to protect Ontario’s economic and social recovery.”

Lisa LaVecchia, President and CEO, Destination Ontario, observed: “Local community businesses are the heart of what makes a destination special. We recognize these businesses need Ontarians’ support right now to ensure the charm and wonderful experiences of these communities are there to welcome visitors back long after the pandemic.”

Ontario recently invested nearly $4.4 million to support the long-term sustainability of the province’s vital tourism industry through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund.

This funding will help deliver innovative, safe experiences and support tourism operators as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.