When it comes to powering through a pandemic, Southwestern Ontario has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration and embracing change. The same rings true for Federico Pereanez and Paula Vergara, co-founders of Collab Local, an eCommerce solution for small businesses.
The pair have been working in the storytelling, social media and web design space for a long time, and they know that digital traffic can translate to big results IRL. Even with businesses looking towards re-entry, for many small business owners lacking the cash flow to support further unexpected roadblocks, traditional retail and rent may not be in the cards.
Enter Collab Local, a simple solution that channels Pereanez and Vergara’s diverse skillsets in web design, branding, video production and social media skills, to help businesses enter the digital retail ecosystem as a solution to unite the local community and lend a helping hand that bolsters them online. They want to bring displaced entrepreneurs and small businesses into the digital fold with easy-to-use profiles and eCommerce mechanisms that don’t require a monthly fee.
“We were hearing from our clients, ‘We can’t afford a website’,” says Vergara. “We wanted to create Collab as a solution for those small businesses.”
Being community-minded is a priority for the team. Their other venture, Half & Half Social Media Lifestyle, a full-service creative and digital marketing agency, has become deeply immersed in this ecosystem and is committed to bringing awareness to diversity and entrepreneurship in London.
Now, reaching even further into this network through Collab, local vendors can register an account, create a profile and through it, sell products, offer services, sell tickets to events, or simply choose to use their profile as exposure among a community of local entrepreneurs. It’s a made-in-London solution meant to make a big impact on the ways that small businesses connect, without the burden of extensive overhead fees.
Their aim is to help the community, and understanding that a monthly payment model might not be sustainable for many emerging and growing entrepreneurs, all ticket sales are charged a commission fee, foregoing the more standardized model of monthly subscription charges.
Starting with a handful of makers, service providers and restaurant owners including Che Restobar, Brawny Movers and Hairstrong, the duo see big potential for Collab as a brand booster and community connecter, and they’ve made themselves readily available to support small businesses and entrepreneurs with a suite of services to tap into and overcome new hurdles to getting into eCommerce.
Pereanez and Vergara continue build on this uptake and have plans to release an app.
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