First Ever Community E-Commerce/Marketing/Auction Platform Coming to Peterborough and City of Kawartha Lakes to Support Local Business

ShopCloseBuy, a startup in the Innovation Cluster’s Women Breaking Barriers program, is expanding into the Greater Peterborough Area and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The platform is uniquely designed to support a wide range of businesses, non-profit organizations, artists, farmers and entrepreneurs, by providing a locally-based online shopping platform to sell their products. In addition to traditional e-commerce, the platform also hosts sophisticated auction capabilities, allowing businesses to easily move excess inventory while offering a wider range of shopping methods to customers not often available in one place.

The platform was designed to provide multiple communities with their own online marketplace to promote local businesses and encourage the “shop local” philosophy that is such an important component of sustainable communities. 

When Covid-19 hit, we all watched with dismay as local businesses closed their doors and post offices began to burst at the seams with packages from large online retailers. That’s when Founder, Donna Enright, decided to redevelop her proven and successful auction and e-commerce software solution, originally created in 2010, into ShopCloseBuy, which launched in Haliburton County in November 2020.  

“Our mission is to help communities thrive by connecting people with each other, encouraging mutual support and fostering economic sustainability,” says Enright.

ShopCloseBuy was created by TechnicalitiesPlus, Enright’s web application development company based in Haliburton, Ontario. “The vision behind our company has always been to utilize the power of technology to support individuals, organizations and communities to be healthier and more resilient,” says Enright.

In addition to the site launched in Haliburton, both Peterborough County and the City of Kawartha Lakes will have their own ShopCloseBuy site. Like a local Amazon, business owners and non-profit organizations now have a ‘local’ e-commerce option that will provide them with the ability to sell, auction and promote their products and services, and to share in the marketing, as a collective effort. As a small business owner herself, Enright states, “we are stronger when we work together.”

According to a recent statistic from Canada Post, 93% of Canadians plan to either do more online shopping (post pandemic), or the same amount, proving that e-commerce needs to be an integral part of any small business.

“Now more than ever it is crucial for businesses to move online, but doing so can be a huge feat,” says Camila Duarte, Innovation Cluster Innovation Specialist and lead advisor of the Women Breaking Barriers program. “ShopCloseBuy provides the perfect platform for local businesses to expand their virtual presence, while maintaining the sense of community that is fostered through in-person shopping.”

For interested shoppers, the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes sites will launch as soon as a minimum of 10 vendors are onboard (estimated timeline – late August/early September).  In the meantime, visit the Haliburton County site at shopclosebuy.ca.

Community information sessions will be held via zoom on July 22 & 23, 2021. To learn more, or to register to attend an info session, go to: vendor.shopclosebuy.ca