The Social Purchasing Portal is making it easier to shop local this holiday season
The second annual Holiday Shopping Bus Tour takes place on Weds., Dec. 11 from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Holiday shoppers travelling on a Winnipeg Transit bus will visit and learn about inner-city businesses, co-ops and social enterprises.
SPP is an online directory for socially responsible businesses in Winnipeg and is a project of LITE (Local Investment Toward Employment).
"The big part (of the tour) is just trying to bring that visibility to the businesses, the social enterprises and cooperatives that make up our directory, but also to bring some visibility to the whole Portal project," said Molly Dunbar, SPP coordinator.
"It’s also to contribute to that buy local movement, but even a step beyond it. All of the businesses on the directory are local but some of them are also social enterprises, which means they’re profits are going right back into the mission the nonprofit that owns them is serving.
"Even for the locally-owned traditional businesses, they’re often doing something special on top of just business as usual."
The holiday shopping bus tour rolls out from The Social Enterprise Centre (765 Main St.) at 11:45 a.m. and will visit Pollock’s Hardware Co-op (1407 Main St.), Sam’s Place (159 Henderson Hwy.) and finally Neechi Commons (865 Main St.).
Sam’s Place is a new addition to the tour, while both Neechi and Pollock’s were stops on last year’s outing.
"Pollock’s is like an old general store," Dunbar said. "They’ve got all sorts of cool little things in there; from everything you need for renovations to really great toys for kids and fun stocking stuffer ideas."
Chantelle Ranville, an employee at Pollock’s, said she appreciates people checking the store out via the tour.
"It’ll be good for new customers to check out our store and it’ll be good for them to see the new inventory we’re getting in," Ranville said. "We just got a shipment of wooden toboggans in. We’ve got our windup toys and we got a good selection of toys in general for children. We have a little bit of everything."
In addition to being good for the local economy, Dunbar said the bus tour is simply a fun way to shop, noting that Stephen Sim of local comedy improv duo CRUMBS will act as tour guide.
Also, SPP is making sure the impact of the event is felt by more businesses than the three stops on the tour.
"We’re also putting together a coupon book that has promotions from a lot of the other suppliers that are on the (SPP) directory," Dunbar said.
Holiday Shopping Bus Tour spots are limited so RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 204-942-8578.