New crowdfunding platform to save small businesses launches

Could crowdfunding save Main Street?

Why It Matters

Two in five independent businesses in Canada are worried about permanent closure from the impacts of COVID-19. As they struggle to stay afloat, a pilot project hopes to boost their chances with community crowdfunding, which has emerged as a vital tool for the social impact sector. Could it provide a model for Main Streets across Canada?

On her crowdfunding page, Summer Baird has listed items to redeem when her pub reopens, like brunch for two, a wine tasting session, and paintings from a local artist. Her business, The Hintonburg Public House in Wellington West, Ottawa, has lost all of its business to the COVID-19 outbreak.

One of the weirder items is a giant horse head in the dining room. “I put it out to the community to see what people wanted,” Baird explained. It has sentimental value so she put a high price on it. “If somebody really, really wants it then I’ll have to let it go,” she said.

The Hintonburg Public House is one of the first participants in a new pilot campaign called LOVE.WellingtonWest.ca, run by the Wellington West Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Crowdfund Canada. Created by the McConnell Foundation, the pilot is

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