I recently had the opportunity to visit several rural communities in Eastern Ontario – wonderful, vibrant places, with unique charm. They are however facing many challenges as jobs and people move away. A whole way of life is in danger and it is happening in regions across the country, in places such as rural Newfoundland, Ontario and even Alberta.
Some people embrace this movement, many do not. For the people that want to stop this drain, the challenge is how. How can we create enough jobs, entertainment, housing, etc. and create a lifestyle that will support the rural communities.
A recurring theme that comes up in conversation time and time again is the fact that as residents commute further and further away for jobs and local businesses now find themselves competing with the larger centers. They have to work harder to retain current customers and expand their customer base to keep the dollars in the local economy.
Many of these local businesses have started to invest in community based marketing and customer loyalty programs. These programs focus on their target market and provide data that can be used to better understand the local demographics and buying trends.
LocalBIZConnex offers both types of programs. We work with local businesses to determine which types of programs best suits their needs.