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Online business directory promotes qathet region shopping

“It’s important that we make it easy for people to shop locally, and to also make them understand the impact that has on the community." ~ Scott Randolph, City of Powell River director of properties, development and communications

Powell River Chamber of CommerceCity of Powell River and Community Futures Powell River have partnered to create a new searchable Goods and Services Directory in order to promote shopping at local businesses in the qathet region.

The project originally started as a discussion with the chamber about the city’s new social procurement policy and the need to develop a listing of all local goods and ser­vices for city purchasing. They needed a database.

Scott Randolph, city director of properties, development and communications, shared how the goods and services directory came to be.

“We were interested in creating a database that the city could utilize to define the products and services they were looking for,” explains Randolph. “After some conversation, we decided it’s probably an even better idea to take this public so everyone can use it.”

Both residents and visitors will have access to a database to search from.

“We quickly formed a partnership over it and brought in Community Futures as well—a good supporter of new entrepreneurs in the community and local business,” adds Randolph. “As three parties, we created a new website with a searchable database.”

Interim chamber of commerce co-president Lisanne English says the hope is that residents and businesses alike will search the directory for goods and services in the Powell River area before looking elsewhere.

“This initiative will make it easier to shop locally,” adds English. “The Powell River Chamber of Commerce is very excited to partner with the city and Community Futures, creating a goods and services directory for the entire region.” 

The directory is built from the city’s business licence database, so anyone with a business licence has already been added. Randolph is putting a call out for those local businesses to visit the directory website, update their profile and ensure all their products and services are listed.

“If someone is looking for a plumber, they can type in plumbing, and all the plumbers come up,” he says. “It’s no different than when you go on Amazon. So we want to create an easy place for people to search for local products.”

Randolph says small and medium-sized businesses are an essential part of the local economy. They support cultural activities in the community, employ the most people and are more likely to charitably contribute back to the community.

“It’s important that we make it easy for people to shop locally, and to also make them understand the impact that has on the community,” he adds.

For business owners outside of the city but within the qathet region, it’s still free for them to sign up and receive a page, profile and a listing, and they don’t need a business licence to do so.

“It’s good for those businesses that don’t have a web presence,” says Randolph. “If they don’t, well, here they go; they have a searchable homepage now.”

For anyone who has trouble signing up for the service or updating their information, Randolph says staff members are available to help. All they need to do is send an email via the website at

He says registering is easy; a clear set of instructions is provided for each of the fields to fill in. Accurate keywords are especially important to ensure businesses appear on searches.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build some capacity in the community and make it easier for people to shop locally,” says Randolph. “It’s important that businesses sign on. It doesn’t take long to fill out a profile. And if you need help, we’re here.”

Business owners can access the “add your business” section at Residents can search the new directory at