You Gotta Shop Here WR marketing campaign helps local businesses

You Gotta Shop Here WR is the name of a marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness about the importance of shopping locally. The program, which runs through the Chambers of Commerce in Cambridge and Kitchener Waterloo, starts Friday and runs through to mid-January.

Small businesses hit by the pandemic can advertise their store at no charge

A marketing campaign has been launched to promote local businesses affected by the pandemic. You Gotta Shop Here WR is designed to raise awareness about the importance of shopping local. (

Independent businesses in Waterloo region struggling from the effects of the pandemic have an opportunity to remind the public that they're open for business. And there's no cost.

You Gotta Shop Here WR is a campaign launched by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce with the help of a federal government grant.

All the businesses have to do is produce a video on their smart phone that's one minute or less and tell the public about who they are, where they are and what they sell. Then they send it to the chamber who will market it for them.

Greg Durocher, the President and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce told CBC K-W's The Morning Edition, the campaign "is for every single, small and medium sized business that is struggling to make it, and we want to help them as best we can."

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, whether you're a member of the chamber or not. It doesn't have anything to do with the chamber membership," said Durocher.

"We want you to do a one minute video and there's instructions that we will provide for you on how to do it. Then upload it to our platform so that we can then put it out to the community through the web page."

Both the Cambridge and K-W chambers submitted a joint proposal for this campaign to the federal government and Ontario Chamber of Commerce and secured about $200,000 for the local strategy.

WATCH: Stephanie Souls from The Little Mushroom Catering Company:

Durocher says he's heard from many business owners who have had a tough time since the pandemic started but have done what they needed to do to keep these important jobs and businesses open.

"We've got to remember [the businesses] really are the beating heart of our community," said Durocher. 

"These are all local dollars that are generated in our community, and we think it's very important, especially in this time of year, and the pandemic, that we have a major campaign."

The chambers have created a toolkit for the businesses on how to shoot the video and even provide a sample script. 

The You Gotta Shop Here WR campaign runs from October 1, until January 15, 2022.