Let's face it - recovering from the last few years, inflation, rising interest rates, and the overall state of the world has been... HARD. Back in 2020, we were all banding together and buying and supporting local. So many small businesses pivoted, new ones started, and it was working!
Fast forward to 2023... things are looking much more bleak. Many people are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of living, and frankly they're tired of caring. I am too! Buying local is not easy. It usually takes more effort, time, and money.
Small Businesses Are Struggling
In the same breath, small businesses are struggling more than ever. Costs are rising for them too, sales are not reaching pre-2020 numbers, and the amount of debt taken on is at an all-time high! In a recent statement, CFIB (Canadian Federation Of Independent Business) said that over 250,000 Canadian small businesses are at risk of closure due to being unable to repay their CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) loans. I've seen dozens of friends close their food businesses over the last year, and sadly, many more plan to soon.
How Can I Help Small Businesses?
The great news is, you can help! Using your everyday purchases to support small businesses can make a world of difference! When you buy your coffee at the local café instead of Starbucks, your home décor at local markets instead of Homesense, and your meal delivery from us instead of Hello Fresh (wink wink), you're keeping your money in within your local economy! While I can't speak for other businesses, all the profit we make here at The Conscious Farm Kitchen goes directly into buying produce from small local farmers, paying myself and our employees high wages, paying all our taxes in full on time (because we love social supports), and creating more jobs for our community!!
Not to be a hater (even though I kind of am), but when you buy from places like Walmart, Loblaws, Tim Hortons, etc. the profits go directly into the hands of old, white, BILLIONAIRE men who evade tax and defraud our society.
All this to say - if you can find the room in your budget, I am once again asking you... to support local!
Additional Things You Can Do To Help
1. Tell your friends and family about small businesses you love
Word of mouth is HUGE for small businesses, if there's a small business you love, spread the word! Let your friends and family know about any small businesses or local shops you love so they can start shopping there too!
2. Leave a review for small businesses
Much like word of mouth, reviews can go a long way for small businesses and it takes 2 seconds! Pop the business name into Google and leave them a review that's sure to have new customers flocking to them. It doesn't cost you anything, but it means the world to small business owners. If you haven't already, now is a great time to leave us a review too!
3. Follow small businesses on social media
Another free way for you to help small businesses is to follow them on social media, the more relevant followers a small business has the more likely their content is to be shown to other people. Plus, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have a suggested feature which means their page is likely to be suggested to other local potential customers.
4. Share their social media posts
You might not have many social media followers, but sharing a small businesses page or post can help them reach a new audience and get their amazing products in front of potential new customers - every little helps!
5. Make small changes to your shopping habits
We're not saying you need to buy EVERYTHING from a small business, but if you can make small changes to your shopping habits you can have a huge impact on small businesses. Ditch the badly baked bread at your chain grocery store for a delicious loaf from your local bakery, get your caffeine fix from a cute cafe, or like Celeste said get 'your meal delivery from us instead of Hello Fresh'. Small changes can have a huge impact.
6. Shop local
Stop heading into your nearest city for your shopping and instead stay local. By shopping local, your money will be going straight back into your local economy. In turn, when you support local shops, you're helping create local jobs, grow the local economy, and increase the value of your local community. Plus, local business owners are move likely to contribute to local charities and fundraisers than their national counterparts!
It's as simple as that. Together we can help small businesses thrive again!
Say goodbye to chain grocery shopping! Instead, enjoy a healthy meal that is already prepared for you with fresh, local produce (that's right, we support local too).
Check out our Weekly Menu!