A local photo-based social media campaign shares the personal stories and hardships being endured by local small businesses
WITH MANY, IF not most, of the thousands of small businesses and start-ups in Southwestern Ontario grappling with harsh realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shuttering, Michelle Faulds, co-owner and head of social media marketing at SlyFox Web Design & Marketing, and Michelle Elliott, owner of MEE Photography, have partnered to launch #togetherwearestronger, a local social media campaign aiming to capture and share the raw emotions of business owners throughout the London area.
“Many local businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19 closures and social distancing rules,” says Faulds, pointing to ongoing issues such as permanent layoffs, selling assets and property or the prospect of having to ultimately shutter a business entirely. In this stark climate, she says many business owners are eager to communicate to their employees, customers and fellow entrepreneurs the anguish they are experiencing not being able to do what they love.
Shortly after launching the initiative, a number of local business owners reached out to Faulds and Elliott eager to schedule webcam photo sessions to capture unique portraits of entrepreneurs in isolation holding signs that communicate special messages and intimate feelings. Some of the participating entrepreneurs include Heather Aristone, an expert custom furniture craftswoman and co-owner of Rustix Studio, Matthew Scott, owner of MJS Property Investments and Brett Lucier, owner of Provincial Glass & Mirror.
According to Faulds, the list of participating businesses ready to share their COVID-19 experiences using the #togetherwearestronger hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is growing every day, and she urges all local entrepreneurs to participate. “Please share your real, raw images and contribute your own to bring awareness to how much they need you to spend your funds locally, whenever possible. Please shop local first. We depend on it!” she says.
Entrepreneurs, owners and managers interested in participating in the campaign can click here to post your own personal portrait using the #togetherwearestronger hashtag, or you can reach out to Michelle Faulds directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.