Get rewarded for shopping and exploring local businesses with a free new app from Think Local First.
Created using the 468 Insider platform from the British Columbia Economic Development Association and 468 Communications, the app is available for both Apple and Android and shows all 185 member businesses plus points of interest that make Greater Victoria a great place to live and visit.
“If we want people to think and shop local first, we need tools that make it easy and rewarding to do so – for residents and tourists alike,” said Paul Hadfield, president of Think Local First. “This allows us to create incentives to explore what’s unique about Victoria in a way that’s fun and highlights our local businesses.”
Here’s how it works:
The Think Local First app is both a wayfinding tool and a gamified way to reward people for shopping locally, Hadfield explains.
- Get the Think Local First app as a free download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
- Through the app’s Explore button, visit a map of Greater Victoria, with pins indicating the location of local businesses and the area’s unique points of interest, from heritage sites to outdoor recreation destinations.
- Click on a pin to get more information about that place.
- Locations are also assigned a point value. Push the “Collect Points” button while physically visiting a location to add the location’s points to your point total.
- Redeem points accumulated with the Think Local First app for goods or services at any of the Rewards locations listed in the app.
It’s that easy!
“Although I have been involved with Think Local First for a number of years now, it was only when I downloaded the App that I truly appreciated the number and locations of the many locally owned businesses. As a guide, the Think Local First App is an indispensable tool to discover these gems, many of whom do not expend huge marketing dollars and are too often too little known. The fact that users can collect and redeem rewards for using the App makes it all the more compelling.”
Why Think Local First?
Research shows that by shifting just 10 per cent of your year-round spending to local, independent businesses, that money circulates two to three times through the local economy, explains Michele Hamilton, managing director for Think Local First.
While ‘big box’ stores typically have their support services managed at a far-off head office, independent local businesses make their decisions locally. So, while you’re shopping at a local Greater Victoria-based recreation outfitter or grocery store, for example, you’re often also supporting local office, accounting and marketing services.
Think Local First is a non-profit society directed by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who are all small business owners in Greater Victoria. The organization encourages people to patronize local businesses to keep Greater Victoria a vibrant, sustainable community and make it a better place to live.