October 06, 2011 16:48 ET

LocalSask.ca: A New Way to Connect to Local Sask

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2011) - There's a new website in Saskatchewan that's connecting local companies to consumers who want local products. It's called LocalSask.ca.

"I want to shop locally, but if a product is not easy to find, then chances are, I won't have the time to look for it," says Marsha Lemon, the entrepreneur behind LocalSask.ca.

More and more consumers are becoming sold on the benefits of buying locally-made products: to support the local economy, reduce their carbon footprint, avoid confusion over labelling and increase their options for organic and naturally-made goods.

As it is financially hard for small artisans to mass market or advertise their products, it creates a situation where consumers have to search a bit more for local products. "A sales directory would provide an affordable place where artisans could market their products, giving them more time to dedicate to the creating, " says Sherry Stewart, co-owner of Stewarts Scenic Signs near Edenwood, SK, who supplies custom metal work products.

The website LocalSask.ca was launched in September. Already, the website has proven its value to Meagan McEwen, owner of Happy Monarch Designs Inc in Estevan, SK, who designs ladies fashion hats. "The general public may not know how many of their day-to-day products they can actually purchase close to home. I think this website will contribute phenomenally to this very important effort."

The directory offers more than basic contact information. Companies may choose to include photos, promotional videos, direct links to websites, events, specials, social media or organizations that they support. Any local company, no matter what the product, may join LocalSask.ca "It applies to your everyday life. No matter what your needs or desires may be, there is something for everyone," says Lemon.

Consumers can search by product, location or randomly find things based on what they see on LocalSask.ca. The site is free to use and local companies may join the online directory for a yearly fee that starts as low as $50.00.

Marion McBride, the Media Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Food Miles Committee of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate who directed the Dining with the Stars project, says local producers face many challenges getting their products to the public. "Distances are long, marketing can be expensive and needed networking for community sharing is limited – this website will certainly help.

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