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Ali Haberstroh


In November 2020, wanting to find a way to help those that were struggling amid an ongoing lockdown, Ali Haberstroh spent one afternoon compiling a spreadsheet of 50 local Toronto businesses, and shared her list on social media. The Instagram post encouraged people to shop locally quickly spread like wildfire, inspiring Ali to create — a full-fledged digital directory that quickly grew to over 4,000 independent small business retailers in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary and Vancouver.

Searchable by city and category, the site enables homebound shoppers to recreate the experience of “stepping out your front door or exploring a new neighbourhood.” By creating a platform to support local and small businesses — with an intentional effort to spotlight BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and women-owned — Ali’s initiative positively impacted many struggling Canadian entrepreneurs at a time when they needed it most.