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Atlantic wide campaign puts small businesses in a big spotlight


Nearly five months ago, Keith Ellao opened his store front in Moncton bringing a piece of his life from the Philippines to Canada.

“It is something that I was passionate about when I was way back in my home country. So I used to do different crafts,” said the owner of Ethiimo Builds.

“I’d pick up like fallen branches from the trees and make them into anything I could think of, like Christmas trees or Christmas decorations and after that my wife decided to move here and I said ‘I want to continue what I do.’”

Today, he calls his store “a gift shop this is not only just a gift shop.”

It’s filled with customized pieces, many made from wood and it’s a space where other local crafters can showcase their work as well.

“I’ve learned that here, in Moncton, in New Brunswick, I’ve seen people that they really support each other and I want to continue that,” said Ellao.

“Community is the driving force for a business to become successful and for you to be able to do that I believe that you should have a business where you know that it could help the community and as much as possible.”

This month, a re-launched campaign offers a big boost to small businesses like Ethiimo Builds.

Love for Local Atlantic 365 aims to highlight a local business every day for a year to drum up support and exposure.

“I think it’s important for people to realize how many different types of businesses are actually locally owned and operated,” said Shawn McKinley with OMISTA Credit Union.

“People feel good supporting their local businesses and a lot of time you don’t realize that it’s the person down the street that own that business that you want to visit.”

While it’s expanded this year to include all four Atlantic Canada provinces, this initiative is actually a reboot from NB365, which launched in 2020 to support New Brunswick businesses during COVID.

Made possible through a partnership with Credit Union and Brainworks, officials say that the campaign in 2020 was a huge success with over 2M views online.

McKinley says he hopes the exposure encourages people to explore to region and support local.

“I find these road trips and these stops along the way really give a chance for people to see the real people behind the businesses and can build that connection and see the heart that goes into a lot of these businesses,” he said.

The new campaign kicked off on September 19th and has already featured a handful of local businesses.

“When I signed up for the Atlantic 365… as far as I can remember, I did it at midnight and I was not able to finish completing the form,” said Ellao.

Laughing he added, “then I just completely forgot about it.”

However, he is very thankful that he was still included in this year’s campaign and says he’s already seen what he thinks is an impact from the campaign.

“Two days ago or yesterday, I came to check our google rankings and I was kind of surprised because as far as I could remember, last month we were ranked number 7 but now, from 7 we are now ranked number 2 and I was like ‘where did that come from’ and I was thinking maybe it has something to do with that,” he said.

While still in the early stages of this years initiative, McKinley says people are already looking forward to what businesses will be featured next.

“There’s definitely a huge range of businesses. I know from OMISTA credit union some of the businesses that we have being featured range from an apple orchard to physiotherapy,” said McKinley.

“It’s really all over all kinds of industries that are being featured.”

More information can be found here.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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