Small business makes up about 40% of Canada’s GDP. Supporting local small businesses is a great way for people to give back and keep that economy flowing with everyday purchases, support, and awareness. There are many ways we can give back to local businesses. Check out this list of 15 ways you can do something today.
1. Order in from your favourite restaurant
Ordering food from your favourite local restaurant for a nice dinner at home is a great way to get some much-needed money back into the community and a delicious meal on the table!
2. Send birthday gifts from local shops
Do you have friends and family with quarantine birthdays coming up? Get an order sent to their house from your favourite local gift shop to help make their day extra special.
3. Buy tickets to online shows
A lot of Canadian musicians have been struck hard, but they’re getting creative! Check out their live stream shows, buy tickets, and help keep a roof over their heads.
4. Shop online at local businesses
A lot of small, local shops have opened up online stores with delivery or curbside pickup. Need new leggings or something to spruce up your new home office? Next time you need something, think of your favourite place to shop, they likely have an online store up by now.
5. Buy gift cards to use later or as a thank you for support staff
If you know you’re going to use it, try buying a gift card for later use. This is an awesome way to give to your locally owned restaurants and retailers during a time of need, and something you’ll be able to use later. It’s also a great gift for friends or a thank you for people in essential jobs.
6. Shop for groceries from your local grocer
Try hitting up your smaller, local grocery shop instead of the box stores. The owners are people in your community who are probably working on much smaller margins.
7. Order Mother’s Day flowers from a small flower shop
Mother’s day is May 10th, don’t forget! Florists will be eager and ready to help you get your gifts to loved ones. Try supported a small, locally owned florist in your area!
8. Try something new from your favourite shop
Have a favourite place that makes bath bombs or clothes or cards? Check out what else they have available! Maybe there’s a new product just waiting to be discovered that you’ll love.
9. Plant a garden using your local garden shops
Head to your local garden centre’s website and get seeds, planters, and everything else you need to start growing your own food. They have solutions for apartments as well! Win-win.
10. Join a local gym for workouts from home
Some local gyms are offering reduced memberships for home workouts. Check out gyms near you for their offerings. Get fit and support local!
11. Buy direct from farmers and local producers
Hit up your local farmers and producers to give directly back to the people growing food for us.
12. Buy from local breweries using local ingredients
Here’s an easy one: buy local beer! Craft breweries generally use local grains and other ingredients. So buying beer can directly help out our farmers, their workers, and everyone involved. Plus, there’s some very tasty beers produced all across Canada.
13. Buy local artists work
There are a ton of amazing Canadian artists making pottery, paintings, drawings, and the list goes on. Go shopping for your next cool gift (for someone else or for yourself cause you deserve it) at a local artist’s site. Check out From Tree to Sea in Calgary or Calli Lynne Art in Winnipeg for ideas!
14. Share and like local posts
If you don’t have the money to be spending on take-out and shopping, simply liking and sharing posts from local vendors can be a huge help in raising awareness of how important it is to give back to your community during this time.
15. Do an online fundraiser
Facebook has a great platform for starting a fundraiser for any of your causes. Try starting one to support your favourite shop that might need a bit of extra help right now.
Buy Girl Guide Cookies from grocery stores
By: Carrie is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing songs, cooking new vegan dishes, and being a plant mom. She loves living in Calgary and pretending she likes the snow.