today is Dec 05, 2021

North Bay -

A new, locally owned business in North Bay called One Red Maple is hoping to make an impact on the shopping scene in the city.

Next month, One Red Maple will launch an app officials said will connect online shoppers with local retailers.

“Essentially, when you’re on a page like an Amazon … and you’re looking at your product, One Red Maple will pop up on that page and show you where else you can buy that product locally,” said One Red Maple president Mark Sherry.

“So, we will drive business off Amazon, or Walmart or Home Depot, off all the big corporate stores to the locally owned independent stores.”

As long as the business has an e-commerce website, it can join One Red Maple.

The hope is that stores like Creative Learning, a puzzles and games store located on Main Street, will see more sales.

“If you go on it, it tells you can shop locally, instead of supporting Amazon. Everyone needs to make money -- I understand that -- but the little people need it more than the big people,” said Sue Ortepi, a sales associate at Creative Learning.

“It’s a great solution to small business problems. Shop locally, even if it’s online locally -- doesn’t matter if you shop in person or online, web orders are great, too.”

Sherry got the idea for the app when the pandemic hit and stores in town were forced to close.

“If you can take 10 per cent of the revenue from Amazon and redistribute it back into your local community, for instance, just imagine the impact you will have,” he said.

“When we ship from locally, we’re not putting a box inside a box and the shipping costs are much lower and so you’re saving the environment as well by shopping local.”

And although the company hasn’t officially launched, it was named New Business of the Year at North Bay's Bell Business Excellence Awards.

“One Red Maple stood out as New Business of the Year because they are bringing forward an app that’s going to help out local retailers and it’s only going to help local franchise retailers. So it’s going to support our local economy,” said Donna Baker of the North Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Sherry told CTV News the plan is to launch the app just locally to start, and then expand across North America.