Brockville is a town of about 21,000 nestled on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands region of eastern Ontario.
Located on the 401 halfway between Toronto and Montreal, businesses benefit from the traffic that commutes through Brockville's outer edge, but faces the same struggles as many smaller communities, lower population growth, big businesses shutting down, and an extra need for residents to keep their purchases local.
That's why entrepreneurs Joe and Veena Naszady are so excited to lead the Shop Local Movement in Brockville, with the launch of ShopBrockville.ca.
Joe and Veena envision a bustling downtown core with no vacant storefronts and the kind of friendly shopping experience they recall enjoying as children. The Naszadys see ShopBrockville.ca as a way to help locally-owned businesses in their hometown band together to create a powerful site for supporting local while taking on the big box stores and online competition that offers low prices and quick delivery.
Joe, Joseph and Veena on a family trip to Italy.
No strangers to the world of small business with two ventures already under their belts - an IT company and a sales training company - Joe and Veena are now making it three with ShopBrockville.ca.
For almost 30 years Joe has provided technical services, website design and more to Brockville businesses through his company NaszTech Systems Inc., while Veena's background in marketing and advertising saw her work her way up to a position as Director of Sales, Marketing and Advertising at a local newspaper company.
In their free time Joe and Veena enjoy family time
with their 16-year-old musician son Joseph (the sixth generation of
Joseph Naszady) -- a trait he picked up from his father who mans the
drums in a number of local Brockville bands on weekends.
The response to "Shop Local" has traditionally been quite positive in the area, and ShopBrockville.ca will now offer the town's businesses a new way to leverage that desire to support local retailers, service providers and restaurants.
"Due to demographic trends facing many small communities in Ontario, Brockville has been in trouble for thirty-some years," said new City Manager Joe Naszady. "The launch of ShopBrockville.ca is an amazing opportunity to turn that around and make the best of what we have and use technology to make it so much easier to find what's available in our own backyard."
"As lifelong residents, Joe and Veena are deeply ingrained in the fabric of Brockville's community," said ShopCity.com CEO, Colin Pape. "Their love for Brockville's small business community and rich experience in both sales and technology makes them the perfect people to turn ShopBrockville.ca into a household name."