For those of you who follow me on social media, you’ll have seen that I’m practically in Toronto on a weekly basis lately. Especially leading into the holiday season, there are so many amazing brand, people and events that have hired or asked me to be in person after years of virtual get togethers, so who am I to say no!
I’ve witnessed a lot of beautiful moments over my career with brands giving back to the communities that support them. Since the pandemic, I’ve been a huge proponent for support local and helping to amplify small businesses. That’s why I have yet again been so moved and inspired by Google Canada this year and their recent #ALittleHelpFromGoogle event in The Distillery District before the iconic Distillery Winter Village Christmas market kicked off.
This is a Google fan page in many ways – click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about. From adding Google devices to our home like Google Nest and our mobile devices, the brand has been an addition to my life not only as a small business but also personally. The photos and memories I share from my Google Pixel 7 Pro get compliments on a weekly basis and often people ask me if I use a professional camera!
Recently I was invited to come to The Distillery District alongside 22 vendors who were set to kick off one of the busiest times of year for them as small business owners. Under the guise of a “Health and Safety” meeting, their entered Archeo only to find a slew of media anxiously waiting to know what the big reveal was. And boy were we all in for a treat…
“Google Canada surprised 22 Canadian small businesses participating in the Distillery Winter Village with a gift of $10,000 each, towards their booth rental fees and other costs during the busy holiday market. The unsuspecting entrepreneurs received the exciting news just in time for the opening day of the Distillery Winter Village which started on November 17, 2022.”
Imagine being a small business, knowing that you have invested a lot of capital into being a vendor, and to have a huge relief lifted off your shoulders like this. I was beyond moved and couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of this magical moment. Click here to see it all play out on my social media.
“Small businesses mean so much to all of us here in Canada – not only are they the economic engine of the country, but oftentimes they are the heart and soul of their communities,” said Natasha Walji, Managing Director, Google. “It’s no secret that the past few years have been tough for everyone, especially small businesses, so we hope that this takes a little bit of stress off the businesses during the busy holiday season.”
Known as one of the country’s most magical holiday shopping and dining experiences, the Distillery Winter Village provides an opportunity for Canadian small businesses to sell gifts, food and drinks to festival goers. This year, the market is open until December 31, 2022. Click here to see some of my personal favourites from it during a visit with Julio and his mom.
“The Distillery Winter Market is a must-attend holiday staple because of the picturesque setting and our amazing vendors who offer top quality products,” said Rik Ocvirk, Vice President, Distillery Events. “As someone who works directly with a number of small businesses, I can tell you that every small business has a story and $10,000 at this time of year means so much to each and every one of them. We at the Distillery provide the magical atmosphere to our shoppers, but this year Google really stepped it up and brought the magical feelings to our vendors as well.”
Google Canada launched “A Little Help from Google” at the Distillery Winter Village as part of its larger nationwide initiative to help small businesses reach holiday shoppers. Other programs this holiday season include:
- Google’s Holiday Hub, which features free tools, resources, and recommendations for small businesses to capture holiday demand. On the hub, businesses will find out how to stand out on Google Search and Maps with a free Business Profile, how to show their live store inventory with Pointy, and how to promote products across Google with free product listings. The holiday hub is available in English and French.
- Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program, which helps small businesses set up an e-commerce website for free, and provides consultation to small businesses looking to digitize their offerings to sell online. To date, over 40,000 Canadian businesses have signed up for the program.
To purchase Distillery Winter Village tickets, learn about event hours and find more information, visit www.TheDistilleryWinterVillage.com
Be sure to follow our journey with @GoogleCanada and the #ALittleHelpFromGoogle hashtag, as well as @distilleryTO and the #DistilleryWinterVillage hashtag.
Come along with Julio & I if you aren’t following us yet at @dothedaniel & @fashionights on all social media platforms.
Photos: Daniel Reyes Cocka and all participating brands and partners
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
*Please note that this may be a sponsored post and promotional consideration may have been offered by participating brands – our disclosure can be found at all times by clicking here.