Kate Lines (left) and Heidi Jakubec make a heart over the Hunt for the Heart of Williams Lake draw box.

Kate Lines (left) and Heidi Jakubec make a heart over the Hunt for the Heart of Williams Lake draw box.

Hunt for the Heart of Williams Lake showcases small businesses

On Thursday, Aug. 18 people shopping in downtown Williams Lake will have a chance to win one of several gift certificates.

On Thursday, Aug. 18 people shopping in downtown Williams Lake will have a chance to win one of several gift certificates in a unique scavenger hunt called Hunt for the Heart of Williams Lake.

Twenty-two independent businesses in the downtown core are participating in the event which is being co-hosted by the Love WilliamsLake project and the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area.

“If you are looking for the heart of your community it is in your small businesses,” says Kate Lines, WLCBIA office and events co-ordinator.

During Hunt for the Heart of Williams Lake next Thursday, Aug. 18 shoppers must collect stamps from six of the participating stores.

The stamped card must be dropped off at Performances in the Park in Boitanio Park by 6 p.m. Shoppers must be in attendance when the draw is made on the performance stage between 6 and 8 p.m.

A complete list of participating businesses is available in the Williams Lake Tribune/Weekend Advisor advertisements and online sites, and on the WLCBIA and LoveWilliamsLake Facebook pages.

The Love Williams Lake project is funded by the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Love Northern BC (formerly Small Town Love) program and the City of Williams Lake’s economic development office.

Heidi Jakubec, the city’s project administrator and Love Williams Lake Champion has all the information about how businesses can join the Love Williams Lake online project which is designed to create and support real, human connections between businesses and their communities.

“I hope to see lots of people at Performances in the Park, on Aug. 18,” Jakubec said in encouraging people to support the businesses participating in this shop local campaign.

Jakubec provided statistical information indicating that more than 50 per cent of small businesses in the north do not have an online presence, even though 77.8 per cent of new jobs are created by small businesses.

She explained that businesses that are independently owned, (not franchised) and are located in the Williams Lake area can become part of the program for a one-time fee of $100.

The fee covers the cost of developing an online profile on the Love Williams Lake Facebook page along with ongoing membership in the online program.

The profile is created by professional photographers and writers to showcase the business, its products and services.

The profile also highlights the business owner’s story as an entrepreneur and the various ways the business contributes to the community.

The online profile also features many tools to make it easer for customers to connect with the business including a local product finder, links to social media channels, a map showing the business location, as well as an events calendar to promote sales events and promotions.

Jakubec said the program is also advertised in Pacific Coastal Airlines’ Soar Magazine and travel guides for Northern B.C., Prince George and Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.

“The BIA encourages all our locally owned businesses to join Love Williams Lake,” Lines said.

“The professional, powerful and affordable promotion will benefit each individual business, and the overall economic vibrancy of the downtown.”

For more information about the Love Williams Lake project Jakubec can be contacted at www.lovewilliamslake.com or at hjakubec@williamslake.ca.

She can also be reached at the city by calling 250-392-2311 (ext. 204).

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