JC Rathwell (left) pictured with Bonnie Schadeck and Jim Armitage of Sassy Shoes, one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

JC Rathwell (left) pictured with Bonnie Schadeck and Jim Armitage of Sassy Shoes, one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Okanagan entrepreneur launches app dedicated to shopping, supporting local

iSupport Local app and website created to support Okanagan small businesses, entrepreneurs

A Kelowna entrepreneur launched an app last summer designed to help local businesses get their products and services in front of targeted shoppers. However, some seemed to miss the point that the app was designed for locals to support locals.

JC Rathwell, the former business owner of Kelowna Cruises, wanted to create an all-in-one advertising platform to help local entrepreneurs grow their business. He launched Super Shopper in August of 2020, but this month he has rebranded to iSupport Local, to really focus on who the app was designed to target.

The app aims to get businesses’ products and services in front of local consumers using features normally only offered by Amazon, Google or Facebook, for a fraction of the cost.

“It helps the little guy, the entrepreneur, the small businessman; it levels the playing field between them, against the block stores and the big boys,” Rathwell said.

For shoppers, the app allows them to search for products and services from local businesses, create a notification for what they want to buy and receive deals or specials.

“If someone goes to Google and types in shoes, it’ll take them to EBay, Amazon; we want Sassy Shoes and other local shoe stores to come up.

“If you’re looking for bicycles, you’re looking for a chiropractor, massage places, it’s all locally owned stores.”

There are more than 3,000 businesses in the iSupport Local database, most of which are located in the Okanagan. Kelowna was the first city to test out the app last year, since that time five other cities across the province have logged onto iSupport Local.

Sassy Shoes was one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Sassy Shoes was one of the first Kelowna businesses to test iSupport Local, an app dedicated to shopping local. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Business owners simply have to claim their store and begin adding products for free. Local businesses can also promote themselves and have unlimited access to features on the app at an affordable price, said Rathwell.

Sassy Shoes was one of the first businesses in Kelowna to test the app.

“It was very inexpensive to jump on board, and the upside, I would argue, is immeasurable,” said Jim Armitage, co-founder of Sassy Shoes alongside Bonnie Schadeck.

Armitage said the app has boosted both their connections with new clients, and their exposure in the community.

For more information, visit: https://iSupportLocal.Biz

READ MORE: ‘Amazon of the Okanagan’ comes to South Okanagan


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Technology

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Most Read