WEST CARLETON – A desire to shop locally and support West Carleton neighbours’ businesses during a time when small businesses are struggling mightily, has led to a networking group made up of hundreds of those very same businesses.
The West Carleton COVID-19 Neighbourhood Network Facebook group is only five days old, but already has 402 members as of April 20.
The network group was the brainchild of four West Carleton women with a variety of business interests in the community. Tanya Laughlin – a mortgage agent and dairy farmer, Monique Strathern – an independent Tupperware star director, Shannon Spallin – owner of West Carleton Household Service and Amanda Dubé – a hair stylist.
The group was the end result of a desire to focus on buying locally and supporting the business community in West Carleton during the economically devastating pandemic.
“I honestly just wanted to know what I could buy locally, to support small business to help them financially though the pandemic, source healthier, locally grown produce, and to reduce my own risk of going into the city,” Laughlin told West Carleton Online last Friday (April 17). “It bothered me that we live in a huge farming community, but I don’t know where to get eggs. So why not set up a group to encourage neighbourhood commerce. There are many other local groups obviously, but few encourage businesses to post, so we saw a gap that really needed to be filled right now.”
Laughlin met with the three other founding members to talk about the idea.
“So I set up a zoom call on Tuesday with the 4 of us– possibly some wine was involved, and we hashed out the details,” she said.
And bonus good news, eggs are getting delivered to her home this Saturday (April 26).
The group hopes to “see small business in West Carleton succeed through the pandemic and beyond; connect neighbours to shop local; and limit the exposure of COVID-19 in our area.”
When the pandemic is behind us, Laughlin sees the networking group grow and transition to a new role.
“I hope so, our plan is to eventually remove the COVID-19 part of the name and keep it going,” she said. “Only time will tell.”
If you are joining the West Carleton COVID-19 Neighbourhood Network, click here.