The Tyee and LOCO BC asks the public to write love letters to their favourite local businesses

photo illustration courtesy of THE TYEE

The Tyee teamed up with LOCO BC and Vancity this Valentine to host a letter-writing contest, inviting the public to write love letters to local businesses.

Julia Spitale, LOCO BC’s director of community engagement, said small businesses, as entrepreneurs, work hard and long hours and most of the time, the emails they receive usually are not great. They get more negative feedback than positive words. She said, “Wouldn’t it be great if they got a love letter?”

Originally, she came up with the idea to hold the event at a coffeeshop. People could write a letter while they were waiting for their coffee and then post it on a wall. The Tyee suggested doing it online. From there, the project took off.

photo illustration courtesy of THE TYEE

Reality exceeds Spitale’s expectations

Spitale wasn’t sure if people would be sentimental enough but since it started, there’s been an outpouring with over 400 letters to date. Most of them are addressed to local businesses in Victoria and Metro Vancouver but there is one love letter to Let’s Knit in Qualicum Beach, B.C. and another to Anderson’s Meats and Deli in Kelowna, B.C.

She didn’t expect people to repost the contest. In her opinion, people share what they are proud of and she thought people would “simply quietly enter the contest and go along their way.”

Spitale was also surprised to find people posting rhyming poetry, sharing specific moments with a lot of details. A lot of them touched her heart.

One business comments on a love letter it didn’t know it received

One letter said:

Dear Nice Shoes in Vancouver on Fraser Street, I adore you because you are the most ethical place to shop for shoes, wallets, guitar straps, purses, cookbooks, and chocolate bars. I absolutely LOVE supporting your shop because I know that my animal friends didn’t suffer for anything you offer. Joanne and Glenn, keep doing what you’re doing and know that your presence is a gem in this city. Sincerely and affectionately, Alissa

Co-owner of Nice Shoes, Joanne Chang, said: “As a fairly new small business, we are extremely grateful that someone chose to write a love letter to us when there are so many other bigger businesses out there that they could have chosen. We put a lot into our business and the most rewarding thing for us is knowing that our customers are happy with the products and services we provide. We love our customers and what they stand for. It’s humbling knowing that they love us back.”

What are the details of this contest?

Ends: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Maximum number of entries: five

There is a variety of prizes. One of the grand prizes is a “Complete Tofino Experience” weekend for two at Ocean Village.

This contest is part of the Live Local, Buy Local campaign.

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3 comments

  1. Alex Samur

    Great first post – realizing the deadline is today…I’d better get writing! 🙂