TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), with the support of Interac Association, launched a new, made-in-Canada online directory to support Canadian small businesses from coast to coast. The directory, called shopsmallbiz.ca, will connect thousands of Canadian small business owners with consumers and other businesses looking for local deals.
CFIB and Interac Association representatives were joined by the Hon. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, to launch the new directory and test out its features with a number of small business owners at CFIB member business, Trattoria Mercatto at Toronto's Eaton Centre.
"Public opinion polls show that Canadians have enormous respect for small business owners and their contributions to society," said CFIB president Dan Kelly. "However, on a weekend visit to the local big box mall or trip to shop in the US, we may inadvertently pass by hundreds of locally-owned and operated small firms. Shopsmallbiz.ca is designed to help give Canadians exposure to some of the fantastic products, services and deals offered by small businesses."
Last year, CFIB piloted Canada's Small Business Saturday and had over 4,500 small firms post an online deal for a one-day event in late October. "We had so many firms ask us to continue this initiative; we're launching shopsmallbiz.ca as a permanent directory. Importantly, CFIB will be launching several special events to promote the directory, starting with Small Business Day on Friday, October 25th - the end of Canada's Small Business Week," Kelly added.
Shopsmallbiz.ca is a free, uniquely Canadian directory that allows consumers to connect with local small businesses to find great deals. For small business owners, the directory functions as an easy-to-use marketing tool that allows them to promote themselves to Canadian consumers and each other.
"As Canada's only domestic debit payment network, we understand the important role that small businesses play in Canadian communities," said Mark O'Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association. "We are proud to support CFIB's Shop Small Biz campaign as we work to empower small business owners and educate consumers about the important role that small businesses play in our communities and local economies."
"Every day across our great country, Canadian small business owners are working hard, creating jobs and finding new and better ways to do things," said Minister Hoskins. "They find time to give back to their community and now, with this new online tool, Canadians can show their appreciation by shopping small biz."
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) is a proud supporter of small businesses and the entrepreneurs that drive our economy. CFIB has 109,000 small- and medium-sized businesses as members across Canada. With regional offices all across Canada, CFIB provides advice and support to help small businesses grow and succeed.
Supporting small businesses is about more than a one-day event. Everyday CFIB works to defend the interests of Canada's small businesses with all levels of government. In addition, it provides practical advice and counseling on business-related matters and uses its clout to provide savings and benefits on services that are important to entrepreneurs.
About Interac Association
The Interac® Network is Canada's only domestically run, coast-to-coast debit payment network.
Interac Debit is one of the lowest cost payment acceptance methods for Canadian merchants, at pennies per transaction regardless of the size of the bill.
Consumers across the country have made Interac Canada's leading payment brand and a home-grown success story and part of our lives for nearly 20 years. From the quick grocery store stops on the way home from work to filling up the gas tank on the way to the local hockey rink and a quick coffee run on route, Interac Debit helps consumers make those everyday purchases securely, with ease and confidence, using their own money straight from their bank account. Now, Interac is making it even faster and more convenient with Interac FlashTM, the contactless enhancement of Interac Debit.
Consumers can use Interac Debit at over 400 thousand merchant locations across Canada; from convenience stores to specialty clothing shops to gas stations and coffee shops. Check out the merchant locator for a growing list of Interac FlashTM acceptance points.
About the shopsmallbiz.ca online directory
CFIB and Interac have launched the new shopsmallbiz.ca online directory - a made-in-Canada business directory that allows small business owners to promote themselves to Canadian consumers and each other. The directory will connect thousands of Canadian small business owners with millions of consumers who are looking for local deals.
Independent Canadian businesses can register and promote their businesses with ease and access numerous training tools that will assist in providing them with greater exposure. Consumers will be able search the directory by location, category, and special offer, simply by typing keywords into the search bar. The experience is fluid and simple, utilizing a design that instills confidence in users and brings maximum exposure to the small businesses that sign up.
Canadian small businesses can sign up by filling in their information at shopsmallbiz.ca. Among the many features of the directory will be the ability to add and manage multiple businesses from one account, add a custom logo, enter deals in both English and French, and upload promotional photos, YouTube videos and other unique, local content to help promote their business and reach consumers looking for local deals.
Interac and Interac Flash are trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under license.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
For further information:
Satinder Chera, Vice President, Communications
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
T: (416) 669-7632