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New scavenger hunt app aims to help local businesses

NORCAT joins forces with Digital Main Street to bring GooseChase to Northern Ontario

COVID-19 has impacted the way we gather and shop. A new app is bringing people together, while being safely apart, and supporting local businesses at the same time.

The app is called GooseChase scavenger hunts, and NORCAT, in partnership with Digital Main Street, is bringing the pilot to Northern Ontario. 

Participants are awarded points for completing missions or scavenger hunts. Taking a photo in front of a favourite coffee shop or a local landmark can earn participants points, competing for prizes against neighbours in a safe and physically distant way.

Those taking part will also receive special promotions and discounts to local retailers through the app.

"With the global pandemic continuing to impact small businesses across Ontario, it’s more important than ever that we continue to work together to find innovative ways to give these businesses the support they need,” Vic Fedeli, the provincial minister of economic development, job creation and trade, said in a March 4 press release. 

“We are pleased that the Digital Main Street lab is working with partners like NORCAT to bring GooseChase’s unique offering to Northern Ontario to help small businesses attract new customers." 

"Through gamification, this initiative is familiarizing Northern Ontario communities on what services or products are available to them and where stores, businesses, and facilities are located,” program co-ordinator Brendan Skiffington said. “ It is much more than a scavenger hunt, and we look forward to seeing communities come together and discover their new favourite local business.” 

Over the next year, business improvement areas, small business enterprise centres, chambers of commerce, and municipalities across Ontario will have unlimited access to the GooseChase platform.

Organizations interested in creating a GooseChase scavenger hunt can contact Cecile Roslin for instructions on how to start a game.