WELLINGTON COUNTY – Businesses in and around Wellington County have been participating in “sign war” challenges recently.
The friendly competitions, started to promote local businesses and entertain people around the community, proved popular in nearby Listowel recently and were also common in the U.S.
Sally Litchfield, general manager of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce, helped bring the sign war to Centre Wellington.
“After seeing some of these sign wars in the U.S. and across southwestern Ontario, I thought, Centre Wellington can do that,” Litchfield said.
“We challenged a few businesses who we knew had signs to get us started.
“Elora Home Hardware, EFG (Ecclestone Financial Group), and The Brew House certainly didn’t let us down.”
Litchfield is thrilled to see the sign wars taking off across the township, adding that it is “bringing smiles to the community when they are so needed.”
Litchfield said the exposure for these businesses is fantastic, and businesses don’t need a sign to participate.
“A sharpie and some paper go a long way, and so does a virtual sign, just remember to use hashtag #CWsignwars so we can all follow along.”
Businesses Minto, Wellington North and Mapleton also got involved.
“It all happened very organically,” said Gina Dobben, co-ordinator of the Mapleton Chamber of Commerce.
“The first sign in the area that I saw was Tebs Convenience. It started in Moorefield around here, and other business like the Moorefield Diner, EBY Honey, and Drayton Freshmart have gotten involved as well.
“Marcc Apparel in Mount Forest has some great signs as well.”
Dobben said the Mapleton Chamber of Commerce started a Facebook group so people could post their signs.
“We would love to think we helped move it along,” Dobben continued.
“This is a great way to promote local business. It shines a light on businesses some residents may not know about. Plus, we all need a little entertainment right now.”
Dobben said some churches in the area have gotten involved as well.
“It’s all pretty harmless fun. It’s making people be creative.”
Beth-Anne Rumph, who works at Tebs Convenience, was happy to get her business involved.
She said that over the course of the pandemic, they have been trying to do things to remain upbeat and have fun.
“It’s so important for people’s mental health to be able to have something to enjoy,” Rumph said. “Our Mapleton community is such an amazing community.”
Drayton Freshmart owners Mak and Mik Patel, who took over the business in July, said they received a warm welcome from the community, and the sign wars offer another opportunity for local businesses to help each other.
“We are grateful for this business community where everyone is helping each other,” Patel said.
“Businesses in the Mapleton area have been so helpful toward each other during this time.”