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Photo courtesy Antsquare

Vancouver, B.C.-based startup Antsquare has launched a new community marketplace app that allows sellers to set up digital shops and reach users based on location. Users are able to connect with the community and browse goods available for sale, thereby keeping buying and selling local.

For local artisans and small businesses, Antsquare serves as a platform to reach costumers while avoiding shipping costs and logistics, so they can focus on creating face-to-face connections. For the user, Antsquare enables discovering local products and services according to taste and location. Monetary transactions are processed through the app, though shoppers are able to inspect items before deciding to buy. This way, not only is the buyer getting the item they desired, but they can also feel good for buying a product from a local vendor and supporting their community.

“Launching Antsquare represents our effort to deliver the best of both shopping worlds — the convenience of online purchasing along with access to local finds,” Antsquare spokesperson Alex Volney said in a statement. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between online and offline sales, stimulate the local economy, promote entrepreneurship, and remove barriers for local artisans to break into the market.”

Among the initial sellers making their products available are several Eastside merchants, including Mustard & Co. and Catshy Crafts of Bellevue, Windy N Ranch in Issaquah, Kirkland’s JJ Caprices, Coco Beza of Mercer Island, Sculpture Soap in Redmond. Sign-ups to join the app are just getting started and Antsquare is planning in-person community events in all the major Eastside neighborhoods to support local artisans.

Antsquare is a free download available for iOS and Android.