Supporting Local Businesses this Christmas Season and Beyond
As the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) community heads into the second Christmas season amid the pandemic, one notable initiative is making its debut for the second year in a row.
“Shop Local SMCS started in the winter of 2020 to support the people in our community who run small businesses that might be suffering financially due to the pandemic,” says John Walsh ’73, Manager of Community & Learning Partnerships at SMCS. “It is another opportunity to show support for and by the St. Michael's community.”
The programme encourages the SMCS community to support each other by enjoying the goods and services offered by fellow members.
Walsh explains that the initiative aligns with the ‘Goodness’ aspect of our school mission, “It’s about supporting others, especially members of our community when they are in need.”
Community members, including alumni, parents, staff, and extended family, can list their business on the school’s online Shop Local SMCS business directory. This opportunity provides them with additional exposure and a location where members of our community can browse through the various industries and categories to find a local SMCS business to support.
“The first campaign was very successful, with over 70 businesses representing 30-plus industries sign up,” says Walsh. “We have had very positive feedback from the organizations who participated as well as those who have used the service.”
“As an alumnus of St. Michael's College School, I always look for ways to stay connected with the SMCS community and other alumni. I cannot express enough gratitude for the #ShopLocalSMCS directory. It is such a thoughtful and well-assembled programme, that allows me to stay connected with fellow alumni and support their businesses. In a time when loyalty, dependency, and community are so important, it is so wonderful to see the St. Michael’s community continue to encourage and support its alumni in a way that motivates us all to stay connected and support each other through these unprecedented times.”
Steven Hellmann ’96
“I am excited to be part of St. Michael’s Shop Local SMCS! This opportunity is a great way for alumni, current students, family, and friends of St. Michael's College School to help each other build and give back to the community by supporting local businesses.”
David Cinelli ’97
“Thank you always for the continued local support. In these trying times it is so important to come together and help each other thrive. Seeing this makes me proud to be a St. Mike’s Alumnus!”
Adriano Zito ’03
From restaurants and shops to travel companies and insurance firms, the diverse directory features a variety of businesses and services located all around Ontario that are available to explore.
“This year's goal is to expand our database of businesses and continue the programme throughout the year as opposed to just the holiday season. We want to add another building block to our already strong community,” Walsh says.
In terms of the success of the programme in the future, Walsh adds, “Numbers definitely tell a story, but when you hear people talking favourably about the programme and how the school is extending beyond the walls of the classroom, it’s very gratifying. Students are seeing the importance of service to our community and others. Service can take many forms and this is just another way of showing support and growing our community spirit.”
The programme officially launched on December 6, 2021.