ShopCity.com was created to help small and local businesses excel online
Colin Pape grew up living and breathing small business.
Colin’s parents were entrepreneurs who owned a retail paint store in Midland, Ontario for 28 years. Because of this, Colin got to experience the joys and challenges of running a local business firsthand.
In 2000, a few big box stores invaded Colin’s hometown, and the local business community did not take it lightly. They realized that the shiny new boxes on the outskirts of town could draw their customers away and threaten the businesses they had worked so hard to build.
Colin was just 20 years old, but he already had a thriving web development business. He had the idea to create a centralized website where local shoppers could find what they needed and buy from local businesses. He called that site ShopMidland.com, and it was an overnight success.
By 2009, Colin had partnered with like-minded entrepreneurs to create an entire network of sites, which they called ShopCity.com.
Since then, we’ve been hard at work fine tuning the model, building new features, and finding the right local partners to help us launch and grow new communities.
It All Started with ShopMidland.com
ShopMidland.com was the original ShopCity.com site, and today it’s at the center of a thriving community.
One of the things that makes ShopMidland.com truly unique is The Hub, our downtown storefront. The Hub is home to several community groups, workshops for local business owners, and other community events. It’s also powered by a free WiFi network that we’ve made available to all of downtown Midland.
We think it’s the perfect way to showcase local businesses, create a stronger local economy, and grow our community.
It’s also been a great investment:
- Over 1,500 participating businesses
- Over 35,000 visits per month
- A customer retention rate over 95%
Not bad for a town of only 17,000.