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Shop Small and Support Local Business!

I love shopping at local shops, bakeries, cafés and restaurants; there is something to be said about that individual, personal touch that comes along with shopping small business. Knowing that you’re supporting the local economy and more than likely supporting a family-run business feels really good.

Local, independent shops add flavor and culture to our communities, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of our cities. What would your day-to-day be like without Frank the butcher or the little ice cream parlour down the street? Small businesses make up 98 per cent of businesses in Canada!

This is why I think what American Express Canada is doing with their brand new program called Shop Small is fabulous. The Shop Small program supports entrepreneurial spirit and celebrates the role of small business in our communities which plays a huge role in driving our economy.

I’m happy to be working with American Express Canada in highlighting some of the participating merchants in Toronto and by pledging to #ShopSmall at small businesses in our neighbourhoods. I’ll be sharing my experience on my social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and hope you will join me by shopping small and spreading the word!

American Express is also launching an exciting Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gems contest in support of the program!  Visit the American Express Canada Facebook page and search for your favourite Shop Small business in Toronto on a map.  Then vote for your favourite small business once per day from April 1 – 21; each vote also earns you one entry into a daily draw to win a $50 Amex Gift Card.

The top five businesses with the most votes by April 21 will participate in a final round of voting; you can vote from the top from April 29 to May 5. The small business who wins the contest and is crowned Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gem will win a one-on-one social marketing consultation with Facebook Canada, an American Express Toronto Life Advertorial on their business in Toronto Life magazine and a celebratory event to honour the winning small business!  The other top four businesses will win a social marketing roundtable with Facebook Canada and a mention of their business in Toronto Life magazine.

Word of mouth is the #1 way  Canadians find or learn about small businesses in their neighbourhood.  Follow me and the conversation using #ShopSmall starting April 2 and participate by shopping small and supporting local businesses. Also don’t forget to vote for your favourite Shop Small business in the Neighbourhood Gems contest.

Off I go to my local bakery to get a latte!

 American Express Canada, Shop Small, #ShopSmall

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Winterlicious: Toronto’s Culinary Celebration

I’m not a food expert but I consider myself to be a foodie or simply – a good eater. A devourer of delicious foods. And living in Toronto, such a multi-cultural city with diverse neighbourhoods, we have abundant choices of cuisines and amazing restaurants.

Winterlicious, presented by American Express Canada and produced by the City of Toronto, is Toronto’s winter celebration of dining out, where food lovers can discover unique culinary events and 191 exciting local restaurants offering prix fixe menus. Amex Canada has a huge love affair with the dining industry, and loves bringing dining experiences to life. With 38 different cuisines in 13 neighbourhoods as well as 14 culinary events, there really is something for everyone.

There are too many amazing restaurants to choose from – I for one would love to visit Bangkok Garden, Wish, The Fifth Grill, Spacco, and Cantine Bistro just to name a few. I’d also want to revisit Pan, La Bruschetta, Jump, La Maquette and Splendido. If you decide to dine on the Danforth, be sure to visit  my friends over at 7 Numbers, Lolita’s Lust and Local.

For this year’s Winterlicious festival, I’m excited to be acting as an Amex Canada “roving reporter”; I’ll be having dinner at North 44 on January 31st and sharing my experience by live-tweeting and sharing my photos on Twitter and Instagram (@amotherworld).  See what the other roving reporters and I will be doing by following along with the #DineWithAmex and #LiciousTO hashtags.

 

food festival toronto 2013

Prix Fixe menus

winterlicious toronto, winterlicious 2013

Prices listed are per person. Beverages, taxes and gratuity additional. Lunch and dinner menus
include  starter, entrée and dessert. Some restrictions apply

 

If you’re attending any Winterlicious restaurants, be sure to share photos of your meals on Instagram using the hashtag #DineWithAmexand enter at www.dinewithamex.ca by February 7 for a chance to win 1 of 10 $100 American Express gift cards.

Don’t forget  to follow the Winterlicious conversations on Twitter by following @LiciousTO, @AmexCanada #DineWithAmex and #LiciousTO! And don’t forget to follow my tweets and Instagram posts on January 31 at North 44!

Winterlicious 2013 runs January 25 to February 7, 2013.

 

 

Disclosure: I’m thrilled to be a part of the American Express Winterlicious campaign and am being compensated for my involvement. Opinions are always my own.