Media Release

Showing Love for Our Business Community

For immediate release

May 8, 2020

Showing Love for Our Business Community
Launch of Love Kingston, a campaign to support local businesses in light of COVID-19

Kingston, Ontario – May 8, 2020 - As Canadians face down the economic impacts of COVID-19, keeping local dollars in the local community has never been more important than it is right now. 

To support Kingston’s vital local businesses through this difficult time, Kingstonians are being asked to spend their money where they live.

To that end, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Downtown Kingston! BIA, Tourism Kingston, the City of Kingston, the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, and Kingston Accommodation Partners have teamed up to launch Love Kingston, a campaign encouraging Kingston and area residents to shop local. 

“We need Kingston residents to think about where we spend our consumer dollars and the impact those decisions have on our small, independent businesses who create jobs, support local charities and teams, and spend money where they live,” said Michele Langlois of Downtown Kingston! BIA. 

Some small business owners have been forced to close or lay off most or all staff members. Others have shifted their business models to try and bring a few dollars in and keep the lights on. And some have seen their traditional customer base leave for online or big box store competitors, with concerns those shoppers might not return.

“Our business community is in survival mode and will be for some time to come,” added Donna Gillespie, CEO of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “By pooling our resources and working collaboratively, we have created a campaign to encourage and assist Kingstonians in navigating an online Kingston.”

Kingston’s economy has been particularly impacted by the pandemic restrictions, as nearly 23 percent of the local workforce is employed in the retail, accommodation and food service, arts, and entertainment sectors according to the Conference Board of Canada.

"Our local businesses are integral to the character of Kingston and the truth is they are struggling. More than ever, it’s important that we keep our dollars local,” says Mayor Paterson. “The platform will make it easier for Kingstonians to find and support local options. I’m inspired to see this collaborative effort, and I believe we can put tools like this in place that will support businesses long after COVID-19 and inspire more residents to support local options.” 

By visiting a user can quickly find restaurants, beauty services, health and medical support, and many other local options. Each listing includes a business’ location, photo, reviews, and details on how it is serving clients during COVID-19. 

“Tourism is a vital part of the local economy and Kingston’s independent businesses are essential. In this phase of stay local, support local, we need all residents of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington to shop local and experience local. These retailers, restaurants, hotels, and attractions are part of what makes our city a vibrant, thriving community,” said Megan Knott, Executive Director of Tourism Kingston. 

“The Chamber is proud to promote the Love Kingston campaign”, said Karen Cross, CEO of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. “It provides a valuable online platform for the business owner and their customer, made available through the collaborative effort of our community business partners.”

The initiative also provides a framework for a stronger online community, which will be critical for businesses particularly if faced with additional pandemic waves.  

The website is backed up by a campaign that includes digital advertising, street signs, and print advertisements. 

Visit to see the full business directory.


Media Contact:
Nour Mazloum
Communications & Events Officer
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
[email protected]


About Kingston Economic Development Corporation               

Kingston Economic Development Corporation is focused on building a strong community and supporting Kingston’s thriving economy. Its mission is to provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston's unique assets to create jobs and investments in order to sustain, grow, and transform Kingston's economy to meet the needs of the 21st century.