JC Rathwell (left) pictured with Bonnie Schadeck and Jim Armitage of Sassy Shoes, one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

JC Rathwell (left) pictured with Bonnie Schadeck and Jim Armitage of Sassy Shoes, one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Okanagan entrepreneur launches app dedicated to shopping, supporting local

iSupport Local app and website created to support Okanagan small businesses, entrepreneurs

A Kelowna entrepreneur launched an app last summer designed to help local businesses get their products and services in front of targeted shoppers. However, some seemed to miss the point that the app was designed for locals to support locals.

JC Rathwell, the former business owner of Kelowna Cruises, wanted to create an all-in-one advertising platform to help local entrepreneurs grow their business. He launched Super Shopper in August of 2020, but this month he has rebranded to iSupport Local, to really focus on who the app was designed to target.

The app aims to get businesses’ products and services in front of local consumers using features normally only offered by Amazon, Google or Facebook, for a fraction of the cost.

“It helps the little guy, the entrepreneur, the small businessman; it levels the playing field between them, against the block stores and the big boys,” Rathwell said.

For shoppers, the app allows them to search for products and services from local businesses, create a notification for what they want to buy and receive deals or specials.

“If someone goes to Google and types in shoes, it’ll take them to EBay, Amazon; we want Sassy Shoes and other local shoe stores to come up.

“If you’re looking for bicycles, you’re looking for a chiropractor, massage places, it’s all locally owned stores.”

There are more than 3,000 businesses in the iSupport Local database, most of which are located in the Okanagan. Kelowna was the first city to test out the app last year, since that time five other cities across the province have logged onto iSupport Local.

Sassy Shoes was one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Sassy Shoes was one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Business owners simply have to claim their store and begin adding products for free. Local businesses can also promote themselves and have unlimited access to features on the app at an affordable price, said Rathwell.

Sassy Shoes was one of the first businesses in Kelowna to test the app.

“It was very inexpensive to jump on board, and the upside, I would argue, is immeasurable,” said Jim Armitage, co-founder of Sassy Shoes alongside Bonnie Schadeck.

Armitage said the app has boosted both their connections with new clients, and their exposure in the community.

For more information, visit: https://iSupportLocal.Biz

READ MORE: ‘Amazon of the Okanagan’ comes to South Okanagan


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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