Shopping Local this Christmas
The holidays are fast approaching, and the recent snowfall has heightened the spirit of giving and kindness of residents in the city. People are buying gifts for family and friends, trying to get ahead of the last-minute December holiday rush. Instead of spending hours in line buying gift boxes and gadgets, buy something unique and meaningful from a local business this year.
Small businesses were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Despite their struggles, their customer service and support for the local economy never wavered. With every local purchase you make, you are helping your friends and neighbours, while getting awesome, one of a kind products. Here are a few reasons why you should take the time this holiday season to give back to the businesses that give so much of themselves to our community.
Let’s face it. COVID-19 has left many of us feeling more isolated than ever before. Our interactions with others have dropped significantly. Now, we rely significantly on virtual connections instead. Many local shops have been in business for years, and know the community and its residents like their own family. They build and maintain meaningful relationships with their clientele. They know who shops with them, who refers them, and they take mounds of pride in return and repeat service. Because of their undying gratitude for your support, each interaction is honest and heartfelt. They may ask about your family or how your day is going, and it comes from the heart, unlike scripted up-sales used by corporations.
Throughout the pandemic, small businesses took a great hit. But despite questions about the future of their businesses, they kept on. They stayed true to their belief in employing local workers. They also hire other locally owned businesses for the supplies and services needed to produce goods in a safe and efficient manner. By putting our money back into these small shops, we can directly help these caring entrepreneurs during the holiday season and many other local businesses. The lasting effect this will have could mean much economic recovery within Ottawa’s local communities.
Because many local entrepreneurs are also members of the community, they feel a great sense of connection to support others in need. They like to pay it forward, just as their customers do. It is not uncommon to see local businesses initiating fundraisers for food banks, school clubs, or sports teams. Many have ties with hospitals and schools within the area. Throughout COVID-19, many local restaurants even provided front-line hospital workers with free meals. The sense of connection between local businesses and the community is what makes a difference when the going gets tough. Local community Associations and BIA’s (Business Improvement Associations) can be an excellent source of information. If you are curious about what Community Association does for the community click here.
So when you shop this winter and put gifts under your tree, keep small businesses in mind. The impact you will have on their lives will be substantial, the products you buy will be one of a kind, and you will never, ever be treated like just another number or sale.
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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