Now’s the time to support local small businesses!

As we continue to self-isolate, quarantine and practice social distancing for the betterment of society, it is important to remember to support your local small businesses in any way possible. The impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the majority (if not all) of your favourite local shops since the initial shutdown in March 2020, specifically pertaining to workflow and income, and that absolutely includes those in and around Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Village.

During the unfortunately nicknamed “second wave,” we as a community simply cannot afford to change the habit of supporting local small businesses. These next months may be the only chance we have to keep these businesses open through the end of autumn and the long winter ahead. While 2021 remains uncertain, there’s an overwhelming sense of gratitude from businesses based on community efforts and support, so in the long-run, your patronage will matter more than you think.  

It’s no exaggeration to say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our community immensely; during the “first wave,” improvements and adjustments within local businesses were completed with help from all levels of government (in order to keep a portion of small businesses open), but it is the local consumers who deserve the credit for coming to the aid of those businesses as a first choice.

But it needs to be said: the benefits of shopping local and supporting small businesses extend beyond the customer. For one, small businesses are an important part of the local economy, creating financial independence and promoting development. It is not uncommon for small businesses to hire locally or sell local products, either, and this helps create a thriving local economy and a mutual business community.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has declared the week of October 18-24, 2020, as “Small Business Week,” an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that the BDC has organized for over 40 years. Every year, close to 10,000 entrepreneurs gather to learn, network and celebrate the people building businesses across the country.

In this unprecedented year, Canadian entrepreneurs have shown their courage and ability to adapt, taking the time to recognize Canadian business owners’ resilience and trying to understand what has changed for their businesses and how they can build for the future, even in these uncertain times.

So now more than ever, these businesses are grateful for the support of local and loyal customers who continue to buy within their own communities. Please, don’t stop supporting and raising awareness for this cause after “Small Business Week” is done. We’re all in this together, and you can help make a difference! Our community is depending on it.