An educational campaign to encourage individuals, businesses and public entities in the province to buy more New Brunswick products, services and experiences was launched across the province. Driven by a private-sector-led association called Excellence NB, which was also announced, the initiative has the goal of empowering New Brunswickers to power up their own economy.
Jon and Leslie Manship, well-known leaders, philanthropists and lifelong New Brunswickers, are the founders of the entire initiative. They identified the fact that shifting even a small percentage of New Brunswickers’ purchases toward New Brunswick products, services and experiences could have a significantly positive and meaningful impact on the provincial economy.
“We feel there is an important opportunity here that all New Brunswickers can contribute to and that will help our province to realize its full potential,” said Jon Manship. “Leslie and I love New Brunswick. We believe in this province and its people. We know in our hearts that working together, as New Brunswickers, we can make this happen.”
From there, the Manships commissioned research from Dr. Pierre-Marcel Desjardins, an economist with the Université de Moncton. The research showed that just a 5% shift in purchasing NB products, services and experience would create roughly 5,000 jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue annually for education, health care, roads and infrastructure, and social services. These results can start to flow immediately and would snowball more noticeably with time.
The Manships also commissioned research by Corporate Research Associates (CRA) on the buying patterns, thoughts, attitudes and perspectives of New Brunswickers both on the consumer side and business-to-business side. CRA’s research shows that New Brunswickers are proud of products and services made in NB. It also concluded NB residents have some recognition of the benefits of buying locally made products and services. However, in many cases, there is only moderate awareness of which companies, products and services are from New Brunswick. This often applies to the billions of dollars of purchasing done annually by governments at all levels and by businesses.
Based on that information, Excellence NB was established and the campaign titled “For the love of New Brunswick” created. Among other things, the campaign aims to promote and educate New Brunswickers on which products, services and experiences are “made in NB” with in-store signage as well as other tools for retailers and other businesses.
“There are zero new or extras costs to doing this and, you can start today with no new money – no government grants, no handouts. Just shift your spending a little toward New Brunswick goods, services and experiences. That’s all. It really is that easy and will make a major difference,” said David Hawkins, CEO of BrainWorks Razor Marketing as well as a founding member and one of the principal architects of Excellence NB, and its creative director. “We encourage all citizens to support NB companies, products and services when it makes sense to you. Often, they will offer you the best value.”
Another founding member is Thomas Raffy, President and CEO of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, representing the province’s francophone business organization. “We are very enthusiastic about this initiative and excited to be a part of it and to help it succeed, for the benefit of our members and ultimately New Brunswick’s economy.”
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