Meet WWBN Gold Member Michèle Hamilton

Photo of Michèle Hamilton

Michèle Hamilton is passionate about creating awareness of the impact that buying from local independent businesses has on our community.

Michèle is the Managing Director of Think Local First, a membership-driven organization that got its start in 2012. Seeing empty downtown storefronts, the owners of Robinson’s Outdoor Store, Ocean River Sports, and Dig This, started Shop Local Victoria to help new and existing businesses succeed.

The concept of buying local expanded to include services like suppliers, professional services, and businesses outside of the downtown core. The “Think Local First” moniker was born and now promotes over 200 businesses throughout the Capital Regional District (CRD), from Sooke to Sidney.

How It Works

Among other criteria, businesses must be privately owned, operate in the CRD, and more than 50% of ownership must live in the Victoria region.

Consumers can search the robust website for member businesses, plus a mobile app with over 300 locations. The app’s map feature can point people to the nearest shoe store, coffee shop, gas station or other service.

Members receive excellent exposure through the website and social media platforms and can attend monthly social mixers that engage business owners in high impact conversations.

Make a Shift

If consumers shift their spending habits by just 10% to buy from local independent business, 25-30% more money stays in the community. It gets recirculated when businesses pay taxes, donate to local charities, support community sports, and pay higher wages.

“By learning to be aware of locally-owned establishments, it’s easy to make that 10% shift,” explains Michèle. “My family switched from buying at national grocery stores and gas bars to local owned, and it feels great!”

What You Can Do

If you own a business or offer a service in the CRD, consider a membership along with such notable businesses as Spinnakers, Country Grocer, Bard and Banker, Buddie’s Toys, and Monk Office.

As a consumer, scan the membership on the website, and download the free mobile app, ‘Think Local First’.

You can help the community be more economically viable, and be a greater place to live and work. Make a difference and contribute to the future of your Victoria. Think Local First!

Contact Michèle for more information.


This business spotlight is provided as a benefit to Michèle Hamilton as a Gold Member of WWBN.

Written by Bonnie Chomica – Marketing Done Write

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