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Entrepreneur spreading the love to local businesses in his new hometown

A mortgage broker based in Thornbury is leveraging support for local business by purchasing and giving away 19 gift cards for the national LOVE-19 campaign
Adam McManus and Tarynn Lennox at Good Grief, the first small business to be a part of the LOVE-19 giveaway challenge.

A local mortgage advisor has committed to helping other small business owners in the area amidst new closures caused by the pandemic. 

Adam McManus, founder of Lawrence Park Mortgage, moved to Thornbury with his family three weeks ago. McManus grew up in Owen Sound and has always had ties to the area, but after living in Toronto for several decades, he was eager to reintegrate into South Georgian Bay — accepting the LOVE-19 Challenge seemed like a perfect way to do so.  

“I thought, what a great opportunity to support my new community and at the same time, to meet people,” said McManus. 

The LOVE-19 Challenge is a call to real estate leaders to commit to buying 19 gift cards from local businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The initiative was launched by a small group of mortgage brokers and has since been picked up by more than 20 agents across Canada looking to help their local communities.  

To kick off the campaign, McManus posted a link to social media asking people to share and nominate their favourite local businesses through a website he created for LOVE-19.

Once or twice a week, McManus will purchase a gift card from one of the nominated businesses and will give it away in a draw on his website.

“We hope the financial support will help, but it’s more about supporting local businesses and giving them the awareness that they need during this time,” said McManus.  

McManus has committed to contributing to the purchase of all 19 gift cards, and plans to pair with other real estate leaders in the area to up the ante on the amount they can support each business. The challenge started last week, with a draw for a Good Grief gift card being announced on Friday. 

McManus paired with Tarynn Lennox, realtor with Royal Lepage Locations North, to offer a $50 gift card to the coffee shop.  

“Because the market is so strong right now, I feel like real estate is doing quite well, so it’s a perfect opportunity for people in the industry to give back to other industries who aren’t doing as well during the pandemic,” said McManus.  

His initial plan was to interview the business owners and share their story on social media as well, but due to new restrictions and ongoing risk, he said it likely isn’t possible, adding “when you are behind a mask, it isn’t as personable.” 

McManus is promoting the challenge through social media — Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn — and hopes to gain traction and interest as the weeks go on. He is encouraging everybody in the area to nominate their favourite business that they think could use a boost, and enter for a chance to win one of the gift cards as well. 

“Right now, not as many people have signed up, so you have a better chance to win. But we hope as it gets some momentum and over time we will get more people supporting the initiative,” he said.  

McManus hopes to start doing two or three draws a week, planning to complete all 19 giveaways by the end of June. 

“I am excited to be able to network and meet so many other similar minded entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said McManus. “It has been very difficult during the pandemic, so that is what really excites me about the challenge… As well as helping each other out during these struggling times.”

To sign up for a chance to win or to nominate a local business, head to the LOVE-19 Challenge page.

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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