Digitizing The Community

The Clay Trade located 628 2nd Street SE, Medicine Hat. January 7, 2021

As entire countries came under restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, consumers around the world started to shun human contact. The loss of in-person contact has had a dramatic impact for many industries, accelerating the need to adopt an online presence.

With this in mind, Invest Medicine Hat, Community Futures Entre-Corp and the Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce collaborated with Digital Main Street and Google Canada to introduce the ShopHERE program in Medicine Hat.

This program provided businesses the opportunity to build an online Shopify store for no cost. Since its launch in July 2020, the ShopHERE program has welcomed 150 businesses from the Southeast Alberta Region - 100 from Medicine Hat alone.

“During these unprecedented times, our businesses need to be able to sell online. The partnership enables us to have the right local organizations at the table and major national players to get Medicine Hat’s small businesses their own e-commerce site,” says Mayor Ted Clugston. “Thanks to this investment from Google and a financial contribution from Invest Medicine Hat, we took steps to support our business community and make their futures a little brighter.”

Further to the ShopHERE program, the three local partners worked alongside to take the shopping experience one step further with a multi-vendor marketplace called Shop YXH. A one-stop-shop where consumers can source and buy local goods.

Shop YXH currently features over 90 businesses from Medicine Hat, Brooks and the Southeast Alberta region selling local products and service.

“I was so excited when I heard about Shop YXH,” says Jenelle Burkart, creator Burk N Co., and marketing and interior design, Sewline Upholstery. “It’s an amazing place for businesses to connect, work together and collaborate. Many local businesses struggle getting the exposure they need, Shop YXH makes it easy to find new and rediscover existing businesses in the community.”

The ShopHERE program remains open for applications through 2021 and is available at https://www.apexalberta.ca/shophere. The Shop YXH marketplace can be found online at ShopYXH.ca.



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