This year has been anything but easy. Parents have had to become both teachers and caregivers, teachers have pivoted their entire approach to offer engaging lessons remotely, and businesses have had to evolve to become proficient in a suddenly virtual workspace while also facing a multitude of financial struggles. It has been a whirlwind, to say the least. But with three months remaining in 2020, together we can end this strange year as a stronger and more connected country.
October is Small Business Month, and they need our help. Due to the pandemic, it’s more important now than in recent years to display our support for the local businesses that make our communities thrive.
Over the past six months, it’s easy to notice the significant setbacks small businesses have endured. Many businesses have been forced to lay off employees. In addition, there have been extended closures, and even many unfortunate permanent closures. The global pandemic impacting our country has left millions of Canadians without a job and little prospects to solve their unemployment. This has caused many community members to feel helpless when it comes to supporting local businesses.
Costless Ways You Can Support Local Companies
With all the challenges our economy continues to being faced with, here are a few ways in which you can support your local businesses without spending any money.
- Leave a Google review: If you visited a local shop, restaurant, or business recently, do them a favour by leaving a positive review about your experience. This can help business owners build a solid reputation online and welcome more incoming customers.
- Follow them on social media: Follow a local business account and help spread their messages by reposting their posts, sharing their page with friends and family, or simply by sharing a business’ website link on your social page.
- Support and engage with their ongoing content: Stay in touch with a business online, and like or comment on their posts to show your support.
These small gestures, even without paying a dime, can truly make a significant impact in supporting a small business and spreading their message within your own community.
Dedicating Your Money to Help Small Businesses
With the holidays fast approaching, online stores like Amazon, Aritzia, Zara, etc., are geared up for what seems like record-breaking sales as COVID-19 has changed the shopping experience for everyone. Self-isolation and government-mandated closures have funneled many holiday shoppers to online shopping carts this year for their gift giving.
To support small businesses, consider swapping your Amazon hauls for products from locally owned businesses. Swap gift ideas with friends and family to give yourself ample time to find a locally owned company that sells what you’re looking for.
If items aren’t in stock or you are unable to go to the physical store, consider purchasing a gift card from a local business for your loved ones to use later. Buying a store’s gift card will provide local businesses with much-needed cash flow.
The Importance of Community Support During COVID-19
This year has brought significant suffering and challenges to all Canadians. It’s times like these that we must come together and help one another.
Taking time out of your day to write comments on posts, reposting posts, leaving reviews, or simply telling friends and family about your favourite locally owned businesses can cost virtually nothing while helping local businesses with their social media and online efforts tremendously. Furthermore, deciding to source holiday gifts this year from locally owned businesses can help to keep these well-deserved businesses open through this ongoing pandemic. With support from community initiatives, and COVID-19-related government funding, our local small businesses can end this year without having to shut their doors.
Author: Elizabeth Parker is a Professional Writing and Communications student at Humber College. Graduating from Carleton University with a BA in English, Elizabeth continues her education to attain a career in the professional writing industry with an interest in travel, business news, media reviews, as well as health and wellness.