Home-based businesses are now finding creative ways to reach new customers, as COVID-19 has limited their exposure.
On Saturday, Maureen Penn, library director for the Lac La Biche County Libraries, is hosting a Summer Virtual Market where small Lac La Biche businesses can showcase their products.
There are currently 14 vendors who will be selling their goods including jewellry, handmade clothing, bath and beauty products, and more on June 20.
“Since COVID-19 happened, markets that home-based businesses would take advantage of to get their names out there have been cancelled,” said Penn.
“Also with the farmer’s markets being limited on space and restricting it to mostly handmade and traditional food vendors, it doesn’t give others the ability to reach more people and to share the phenomenal products that are available. There are so many local companies that people don’t know about.”
The virtual market will be on the M. Penn Virtual Market Facebook page and will be giving each vendor a timeslot throughout the day to sell their items and to be highlighted.
During the week leading up to the event, there will be posts giving customers a preview of what’s to come.
“Before the event, each vendor gets two sneak peeks that I’ve scheduled to run Monday through Friday,” said Penn.
“The vendors can do a Facebook live, they can post pictures, I encourage them to interact with other vendors, and definitely get them to answer questions from members of the public seeking their products as well.”
The event runs from 10:00am-8:00pm, and if anyone is working during the hours of the event, all the vendors information will stay up on the market’s Facebook page.
Penn is also a vendor, and will be selling Handmarks custom made jewellery.
“This is about supporting local businesses, and for some of these people it’s their only source of income,” said Penn.
“All of these vendors are extremely enthusiastic about what they are doing and it really shines through. It’s important to provide opportunities like this for our local businesses.”