Living Locally   /   Community

Be Local to take a new form in 2020

New year harkens a new era for Be Local brand

September 5, 2019 by Centaine Hlushak on Momentum, Thrive

After 12 years of celebrating and connecting local businesses, the Be Local brand will enter an exciting new venture in 2020 by joining forces with Momentum.

“The merger of our two communities will position the Be Local movement for accelerated growth and greater collective impact,” says Stephanie Jackman, Founder and Board Chair. “It has been a blessing to build the Be Local movement together these past 12 years. I look forward to seeing it gain momentum (pardon the pun) in this new form.”

As a non-profit dedicated to reducing poverty, Momentum has spent the past three decades with boots on the ground in Calgary to educate and empower those living on low income through financial literacy courses, trades programs, business training, and micro-loans.

The merger will specifically take place with Thrive -- one of Momentum’s community initiatives that works to eliminate poverty through community economic development: revitalizing neighbourhoods, incubating social entrepreneurs, and connecting thought leaders. Its mission is “building a thriving, resilient and inclusive economy for all.”

“It feels like I’m part of a tribe as part of the Be Local movement,” says Executive Director Jeff Loomis. “REAP members are many of Momentums’ key allies in the local business community that are making efforts to reduce poverty in Calgary through their social responsibility commitments.”

It was a natural fit to combine the work of REAP and Thrive. The Be Local website, including its directory and blog, will continue spreading awareness of sustainable businesses, and new members will continue to be welcomed with open arms. Centaine Tyler, REAP's Community Leader, will remain at the helm.

“The merger will break down unnecessary silos between the communities and organizations,” says Erin Melnychuk, Community Initiatives Manager at Momentum, who oversees Thrive. “By joining forces, we are leveraging resources available to businesses,”

This new chapter will also see more events and services for new and existing members of the Be Local network through Thrive; including a Be Local subnetwork in partnership with Calgary Dollars, where users will collect points on their mobile phones with every dollar spent at participating local businesses.

Thrive also hosts a myriad of learning and networking opportunities, including Social Venture Institute, a social entrepreneur retreat to put heads together and overcome business challenges; the workshop series Economics of Social Change with the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, examining the application of economic principles to the social change movement; and the Community Huddle, a year-end celebration, networking, and idea-sharing event.

“Thrive and REAP have been close working partners for many years. It’s time to open up all of the expertise and wisdom between both organizations for the benefit of the Be Local movement,” says Erin.


  1. Click here to learn more about Thrive and Momentum’s bodies of work.
  2. The Be Local Awards and Thrive’s Community Huddle are both part of the Soul of the Next Economy Forum on November 14-15, 2019. Get your tickets now and get connected with the growing community of changemakers.
  3. Check out Thrive’s News and Resources pages for tools developed by and for social entrepreneurs.
  4. Questions, comments, concerns? Thrive will be hosting an open house in the new year to allow the networks to get to know each other and get the answers they need. Subscribe to Thrive’s newsletter to stay in the loop.