Hamilton’s International Village launches Ontario’s first BIA-operated online marketplace

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on businesses of all sizes. But the stress is especially strong for those running small independent businesses, who are often operating with razor-thin margins even at the best of times.

That struggle is what prompted the Business Improvement Area (BIA) of Hamilton’s International Village to create and operate an e-commerce platform for the neighbourhood’s resident businesses to sell their products online and help mitigate the business damages brought on by the pandemic.

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We are thrilled to announce the launch of the province’s first BIA built & operated e-commerce marketplace,! The new e-commerce site has been custom built by the BIA specifically to provide another platform for our member to sell their products and services. The BIA has created this free tool for our members without taking any commission – just simply as a service to help them succeed. ➖ Tag us or use #TheVillage to share your experiences in the International Village BIA! ➖➖➖ #hamont #thevillage #spendithere #myhamilton #shoplocal #hamiltonontario #downtownhamilton #myhamilton #shoppinglocal #shoplocal #smallbiz #shoplocalcanada #discoveron

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How does the platform work? Businesses within the International Village BIA can sign up to sell their products through the custom-built online store on at no cost and with no commission taken from the business. It’s as easy as that.

This e-commerce platform –the first of its kind for a business improvement area in Ontario – is something the International Village sees as a vital piece of operating a business today, pandemic or not.

“This is 2020 and businesses must have an online presence,” says Susie Braithwaite, International Village BIA’s Executive Director.

The timing for preparing the website for a launch was very fortuitous; in fact, the International Village BIA had been planning the platform prior to the pandemic in anticipation of the impact of LRT construction; a future project that was ultimately, unceremoniously pulled from the city late last year.

The online store, which is now live, allows locals to shop through multiple retail, food & drink, and service options including Café Oranje, The Laundry Design Works, Live Right Pet Supplies, The Thrifty Designer, Zoran Designs Jewellery, Letterbox Mercantile, Cosplay FTW, and Liu Liu Hotpot. More options from the International Village BIA are sure to become available soon.

Check out the brand new online store and get your shopping done on the International Village website.

Lead image courtesy of @internationalvillagebia

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