Did You Know?
The Orillia area is home
to more than 1,580 businesses, most of which are locally-owned and
operated 'independent' businesses?
Neither did we when we first started
ShopOrillia.com back in May of 2001. At the time, we guessed
that there might be 400 businesses in the area. Wow, were we ever
Not only did we not know how many businesses there were, we had no
idea just how many products and services were available locally that
we had been driving to other communities to purchase.
It turned out that pretty much anything we needed could be found
in our own backyard with some 'digging', but it required more effort
than most people were willing to spend to find out what was
At the same time, big box stores and online mega stores with more
marketing power were capturing customers' purchases and drawing them
in and away from the downtown core and local independent businesses.
How It Works
To reverse this trend, we built a local online marketplace and
directory that features local businesses and the products and
services they offer. The site is accessible from both computers and
smart phones via a mobile version.
ShopOrillia.com's community marketplace enables consumers to buy online for in-store
pick-up or delivery, read and write business reviews, purchase online
gift certificates, view restaurant menus, find out when businesses
are open and how the can be paid, as well as contact business owners
As you can imagine, all of these features offer both businesses
and consumers tons of value, but the real power of ShopOrillia.com
is the offline community marketing campaign that involves hundreds of
businesses displaying signs and stickers that remind locals to shop
locally at ShopOrillia.com.
By coming together under a common message that also drives people
to a web destination where they can take action, ShopOrillia.com
harnesses the collective power of the local business community to
give independents a voice that's even louder than the big corporate
brands that dot the landscape.
Because local independent businesses generally keep more of the
money spent with them within the community than corporate chains (45%
for independent vs. 15% for chains),
shopping with local businesses leads to a stronger local economy.
This benefits everyone in the community as strong local economies
provide greater access to opportunities and also more funding for
local initiatives like parks and recreation, services and
infrastructure, health and education.
By informing local shoppers about the choices available to them,
as well as the hidden benefits of shopping locally, ShopOrillia.com
aims to influence residents to spend more of their money
locally instead of sending their dollars outside of the community
where it will benefit someone else's area instead of our own.
What You Can Do
There are several easy steps you can take to help us build up the
community and support local businesses:
as often as possible to learn what's available locally.
Make informed purchases and
consider the total impact of your spending, not just the price you
Encourage great local business
owners to keep going by posting reviews on their profile pages.
Buy our local gift certificates
instead of plastic gift cards from big box stores.
Frequent locally-owned restaurants instead of the national
We can always use more help spreading the word, and we greatly
appreciate those who help convey the message by putting up signs and
stickers or linking to us online.
here to request free stickers or a badge for your website.
Thanks for taking the time to read about ShopOrillia.com.
We are passionate about building up Orillia
and love to connect with like-minded individuals.
Feel free to use the comments below to let us know about things
you're doing to spread the word about shopping locally or to make
Orillia a stronger, more
What are your thoughts?