Local COVID-19 business support page goes viral

By Don Norman

Two weeks ago, a small business owner from Silver Falls started a Facebook page to help local businesses who were hurting because of the pandemic shut-down, drum up new business.

Kale Johnson had noticed that some businesses were really hurting but others were over burdened. So, he started the “Support Small Businesses Manitoba” Facebook page to bring them together.

Very quickly, the idea took off. “My original plan was to help the businesses local to me. I could never have imagined that it would have taken off so fast. It has gone Manitoba wide.” Within two weeks, the Facebook group had gone from zero to nearly 10,000 members. “It’s growing at about 500 per day.”

Johnson is limiting participation in the page to small business with less than 100 paid employees. And he excluding home-based multi-level marketing businesses.

Apparently the format is very effective. Johnson, who the proprietor of East Beaches Roofing said he’s extremely busy now, largely as a result of the new connections he’s made through the page.

With his new found knack for on line business marketing, Johnson is now trying to monetize his success. He has already registered the business name (Manitoba Bureau of Small Businesses), that from Johnson’s description, sounds like Kijiji meets Yelp, where members can exchange goods and services and leave reviews.

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