CAMPBELL’S BAY – Elected officials, businesspeople and representatives of Tourism Outaouais and the Pontiac SADC attended the launch of the Outaouais First (Outaoauis d’abord) local purchasing campaign, July 10 at Brauwerk Hoffman. The campaign and its logo were launched throughout the week at five different places in the Outaouais.
Anne-Marie Trudel, director of l’Espace d’accélération et de croissance de l’Outaouais (Espace-O), the organization coordinating the project, explained it’s essentially a territorial marketing and branding campaign. It brings together several economic players, organizations and associations in a major collective effort to support the regional economy, raise awareness and encourage citizens to buy local. The platform will combine all existing local purchasing initiatives on one website and market them. The website will eventually have a repertoire of all of the region’s businesses.
Everyone who spoke emphasized that, in the context of the COVID pandemic, shopping local is more important now than ever before. “A lot of businesses are doing everything they can to survive in a difficult context, so any campaign that
promotes supporting them is important,” said Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin.
“COVID-19 changed everyone’s shopping habits due to travel restrictions and wanting to stay closer to home. It enabled people to open their eyes to the things the Pontiac has to offer. If we spend more time and money here, it will build existing businesses, encourage new ones, create jobs and support our economy,” added Jane Toller, MRC Pontiac warden.
Trudel noted that the campaign also challenges the population. “With 300,000 people in the Outaouais, if everyone redirected $30 a week of what they spend to local purchases, it would inject $500 million more in the region’s economy per year. I challenge residents to do this, by thinking ‘Outaouais’ First when they have to buy something,” she concluded.