With the holiday season done and dusted, January is generally the time of year for adjusting back into regular routines. However, most small businesses will still be relying on your continued support to stay alive in this post-holiday period.
With COVID-related restrictions still in place at the start of the new year, it’s as important as ever to continue supporting local businesses this January. While many people may be returning to a regular work schedule this month, most small businesses will still see a sharp downturn in revenue.
Whether they’re independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants, mom and pop shops, or artisan craftspeople, it’s vital you continue to support local businesses in your area as much as possible. Here are five things we suggest you can do to help support local businesses throughout this winter season.
While the doors to your favourite non-essential small businesses may currently be shut, many will still offer you the opportunity to shop with them online. Some have even gone so far as to offer curbside pickup options.
When independent local businesses can’t depend on in-store foot traffic for revenue, they look to capitalize on online sales to continue to service customers. If you have a favourite small business in your area whose doors are shut because of the pandemic, make sure you try to find them online before looking for what you need elsewhere.
Buy a Gift Card
Although you may not currently be able to support local businesses in your area in-person, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them stay in business. While lots of your favourite stores may be closed, buying gift cards now for future purchases will help keep them afloat this winter season.
By buying a gift card, you can plan ahead for your summer wardrobe with store credit to a local boutique, or for a fun night out at your favourite neighbourhood restaurant when they re-open — hopefully by Valentine’s Day. Regardless of where you buy a gift card, it shows you care about the future of businesses in your area.
Shop at ‘Bottle Shops’
Depending on where you live, restrictions on which businesses are permitted to stay open can vary. Luckily for us in Toronto, the province of Ontario has allowed restaurants to continue the sale of alcohol with food orders.
Some of our favourite local restaurants have capitalized on this by transitioning into ‘bottle shops’. As they continue to import and sell their unique selection of wines and alcoholic drinks, you can continue to offer them your support while not actually dining with them.
Although restaurants’ dining rooms will be closed, many of their kitchens are still up and running. By utilizing food delivery services like Uber Eats or DoorDash and offering delivery and takeout options, local restaurants can still offer hungry customers delicious items from their menus.
Whether they’re a neighbourhood favourite or simply just an independent cafe, you can help support local restaurants by ordering food to-go for your next meal.
Post on Social Media
While it may not directly help their bottom lines, you can also help support local businesses by posting about them on social media. Raising awareness about their social media pages, products, and services will help keep them top-of-mind amongst your followers on social media.
Whether they’re a local boutique, artisan, or cafe, increasing traffic to their social media pages is always a helpful way to support local businesses. Even though you might not personally plan on buying something from them, promoting their products or services to others can be just as beneficial.
Interested in finding out more about why we love our west Toronto community? Take a look at our neighbourhoods page to find out why we’re so passionate about supporting local businesses in our area.