Two business owners in a promotional photoshoot from the municipality


Empowering Local Economies: Promotion for Small Businesses

Okotoks, Alberta, Mar. 2024

Small businesses are the essence of local economies in Alberta and Canada. They are the backbone of products, services, and employment opportunities. However, most small businesses struggle to keep up with changes in the economy. They are not as quick or adaptable as large companies.

Effective support tools and well-established communication are crucial pieces of local economies. At the same time, it is a part of local businesses’ success stories. Municipalities and cities can boost their economy by promoting local businesses, encouraging spending, and attracting new investments to the community.

Benefits of Showcasing Small Businesses

There are many advantages of showcasing small businesses. Firstly, it drives local investment and keeps money circulating in the local economy. Also, it creates a unique community identity, making it stand out from other places. This attracts tourists and new people to come and live there.

Furthermore, it helps to send a message about potential business opportunities and create trust in an entrepreneurship-friendly environment. It benefits in multiple ways: by creating new products and services in the area and attracting more labour. It even provides the local community with new employment options. Additional business taxes help municipalities to re-invest in the community and improve its infrastructure.

A well-defined brand identity allows one to target specific industries and fill the gaps in the local economy. Showcasing other success stories decreases the fear of new investors starting their ventures in these locations. Additionally, it helps to create a connection between the local government institutions and the business community. As a result, it supports effective communication and future collaboration for improvement.

Promotion of Local Small Businesses by Local Municipality

Challenges Small Businesses Face

There are numerous challenges that small business owners face. Big competitors have the resources and budgets to invest in their marketing efforts to reach potential customers. This might be fierce for a small local business. Moreover, these companies have multiple professionals working on the teams to help improve business models, operations, customer experience, etc.

It is not only a lack of money but also sometimes a lack of knowledge of specific business areas. Some businesses don’t know how to manage their digital channels properly, or how to target their audiences effectively. Resulting in bad positioning in oversaturated markets and loss of visibility.

Role of Digital Marketing in Supporting Small Businesses

Digital Marketing is one of the approaches that all small businesses can implement and benefit the most. It is cost-effective and helps to reach many new clients.

There are multiple streams where small businesses can focus on static services websites or e-commerce platforms. It can help to capture leads online and distribute the product or service anywhere in the region, province, or country.

Social media – which encourages building relationships and communities surrounding your business and brand. It allows engagement with loyal customers or potentially new clients. Email marketing provides an opportunity to showcase new products or services, and share news about the business.

Other tools, such as Google Business Profile display business on the map. Collecting positive reviews helps to build trust and awareness about the brand. SEO’s goal is visibility on the search results. It helps to compete with similar niche products and appear on the first page of Google search results.

Creating an online presence for small businesses with limited budgets takes time and dedication. Building an authoritative brand by fully relying on organic traffic and non-professional knowledge might be a long journey.

How Municipalities Can Help

Municipalities are essential in digital visibility for small businesses. Local government institutions over decades have established reputable digital platforms. Most of the community comes to search for information on their websites or social media channels. They are trusted and checked by potential investors, locals, tourists, and other parties.

Firstly, municipalities can establish effective business directories that allow users to easily find and access services in the area. Getting links from local government authorities increases the trust and visibility of a local business in exchange. It benefits business owners and increases their potential revenue.

Secondly, social media campaigns showcasing businesses and promoting them to the community allow engagement. It builds awareness of new businesses in the area. A well-followed municipal channel displays this content in front of many eyes and helps businesses build their audiences.

Municipalities by showcasing these stories attract new programs and grants to the region. This helps to boost their visibility or facilitate help for businesses’ digital footprint. It fosters and makes stronger connections between local government and businesses by mutually benefiting both participating parties.

Case Study

By examining case studies of cities that have successfully implemented programs to support small businesses, we can gain valuable insights into the strategies and techniques that have proven effective. These success stories not only serve as inspiration but also provide practical guidance. Other communities looking to replicate their achievements.

One such example is the city of Austin, Texas, which launched a comprehensive digital marketing campaign to boost local businesses. With the support of the local government, small businesses were provided with resources and training to enhance their online presence. As a result, many businesses experienced significant customer engagement and sales growth.

Another noteworthy case study is Seattle, Washington, where the city government partnered with digital marketing agencies to offer subsidized advertising packages for small businesses. This initiative not only increased visibility for these businesses but also generated a sense of community support, encouraging residents to shop locally.

These success stories can serve as valuable ‘TO-DO GUIDES’ for other communities seeking to implement similar programs. By studying the specific techniques and implementations that worked in these cities, local governments can tailor their strategies. It helps reflect on the unique needs of their own communities.

Furthermore, analysis and reviews of these case studies can provide valuable insights for creating new programs for small businesses. By identifying the common factors that contributed to success, policymakers can develop targeted initiatives. They would address the specific challenges faced by small businesses in different industries and regions.

Case studies of cities that have successfully supported small businesses through digital marketing efforts offer a wealth of knowledge. By learning from these success stories, communities can establish effective techniques and implementations to foster growth and prosperity.

A young business woman on the phone with a municipality where she is discussing a promotion with the town.


The digital age presents an unprecedented opportunity for municipalities and cities to support small business communities. By leveraging digital marketing, local governments can promote economic vitality, foster a sense of community, and ensure the prosperity of their local economies. The call to action is clear: it’s time for municipalities to invest in digital platforms and strategies that uplift their small businesses.

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