Outpouring Support for West Island’s Retailers

The pandemic has caused a lot of damage to our favourite local shops. Fortunately, this summer, we have witnessed a display of love and support towards our local economy through one-of-a-kind initiatives.

Last spring, our experts, Christine Legault and Alison Birss, were on the frontline helping retailers get through the pandemic. They have seen first hand the challenges that they needed to tackle on a daily basis: layoffs, logistics problems and forced closures.

Campaigns that boosted the West Island's Reputation

Despite their struggles, all have shown resiliency and determination. The many “Buy Local” campaigns put in place by the cities and merchant associations helped boost the West Island’s reputation: not only is it a beautiful place where life is good, but it is also a vibrant territory filled with charming boutiques and retailers that you won’t find anywhere else on the island.

Citizens, cities, merchants and organizations, including PME MTL Ouest-de-l'Île, have all participated in these local campaigns aiding our economic recovery. A shining example is the crowdfunding campaign, Du coeur à l’achat , launched by La Ruche. Magda Bichay, President for the Pointe-Claire Village Association recalls:

The expression "it takes a village" certainly applies here. Merchants, residents and the non profit sector, along with all our supporters enabled us to organize an extremely successful campaign.

Together, the Dorval, Lachine and Pointe-Claire campaigns were able raise more than 143 000$! And because they all achieved – and exceeded - their targets, West Island Community Shares, La Maison des jeunes L’Escalier and the Fonds d’urgence COVID-19 de Lachine all received a money donation from Desjardins totalling 75 000$.

The SCD Rue Ste Anne also provided prizes and gift certificate to its members worth up to $100 as a way to give back to the merchants. These were then passed along to the participants of the "Photo Quiz Contest". The contest is still running and is a great way to discover Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue's retail stores: participate here.

Furthermore, the Beaurepaire village and the Valois village put in place one-time initiatives throughout the summer.

Reading suggestion: Economic Recovery: PME MTL now more than ever at the service of Montreal SMEs

What’s next?

Our retailers still need us. Even if back to school is around the corner and campaigns are done or almost done, our support must remain. Each village and street is home to our local merchants who contribute to our economic growth and our quality of life. As one expert reports in this CBC article: "We can't have resilient communities without resilient small businesses.”

A simple gesture would be to like their Facebook page so you are aware of everything that is going on:

Finally, try to think of them first when you need to buy something! In time, the habit to buy local will recreate a strong local economy!


Thinking about starting a retail business in the West Island? Talk to us about your project.

Do you own a retail business? You might be eligible for our new subsidy helping retailers adapt their business to the new reality. Visit our fund’s page.


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