Achat local

Entrepreneurial mutual aid, driving force of the neighborhood

L'entraide entrepreneuriale, moteur du quartier

To encourage buying local, many mutual aid efforts have been made by municipalities over the years. Business development corporations ( SDC), which have been present in Quebec since 1980, are an example of this. Also, Verdun's local purchasing policy , whereby neighborhood businesses have been given priority since 2014 for any contract under $25,000, no longer has to prove its benefits for the borough.

Beyond the legally established mechanisms, it is interesting to see how a region can benefit from mutual assistance between its merchants… so much so that some companies have built themselves on this business model. This is the case of the Savonnerie des Diligences , located in Austin, facing Lake Orford.

A communicative entrepreneurial dynamism

"The entrepreneurial dynamism is felt in the region: all the people who settle here will communicate and help each other", affirms the director of operations of the Savonnerie des Diligences . To face the less busy winter months than the summer period, there is a common understanding that by helping each other, it is possible to go further. The company is also behind the creation of a group of soap makers.

Local priority for supply

Whether in the purchase of raw materials or distribution, the priority remains of course in local purchasing. Maple syrup from the area is used in making products. Among the most recent partnerships, there is the one with Loop , another soap producer. The full list of the company's partnerships is also clearly visible on its website, where it also encourages tourist circuits that benefit the many attractions of the region.

For the Savonnerie, which already had a functional transactional website at the dawn of the pandemic, there was no doubt that it had to integrate the products of its partners. They are easily spotted in the “Achetons Québécois” category of the online store. A nice return of the pendulum for the help she received during the unfortunate flood, at the end of 2019.

Growing interest in “prepared and packaged here”

During the confinement caused by the pandemic, it was not uncommon to see contests on the networks whose prizes combined products from several SMEs. For the company La Lichée , the idea of ​​setting up a box with partners for Mother's Day forced her to return to the workshop because she was so popular!

Mother's Day box, La Lichée

Mother's Day box, La Lichée

According to Dominic de La Lichée, it is clear that the openness is more marked when he talks about business with people from the region (from Quebec). He is also encouraged by the fact that supermarkets seem to put fewer barriers to artisanal products made in Quebec. This new era of mutual aid among the biggest players brings increased visibility to what is being done here and hope that we will not have to search any longer to find this evocative logo on the shelves!

Reviewed by Marie-Pascale

Cover photo: credit: Revue gestion (HEC)

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