Now more than ever, locally owned businesses need the support of the community. According to Stats Canada, 31% of Canadian small businesses reported a 30% or more decline in revenue in 2020 compared with 2019. With provincial restrictions forcing many consumers to stay home and businesses to shut their doors permanently, local businesses are struggling with the financial burden of the pandemic.
Local Businesses are an Important Part of the Community
Local business owners often live in the community that they serve and do their own shopping close to home. They employ residents, are more likely to carry products made in the area and they are usually the first to donate to community organizations. When a customer chooses to make a purchase from a locally owned business, statistics say that 68% of the money from that transaction is recirculated within the community.
Many business owners in the area make a concerted effort to hire other local businesses whenever they can, which further increases the impact of each dollar spent. Soo business owner Robert Carroll, Co-Founder of Due North Cannabis Co., understands the importance of shopping close to home. He says, “I think it's the responsibility of local business owners to ensure our customer’s dollars are reinvested locally. We build our stores with 100% local talent and strive to source as many materials as possible right here in the Soo.”
How Residents Can Help
Supporting Soo businesses during the pandemic can be a little more difficult, but there are still many ways that the community can ensure that these businesses are able to survive during this challenging time. Here are some ways that anyone can help a local business:
- Purchase gift cards to use at a later date or to give as gifts, especially from businesses that are not able to open due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Call stores to see if they have options like curbside pickup or delivery available.
- Order directly from restaurants instead of using third party apps.
- If possible, order in off-peak times or days.
- Tip for takeout orders as well as for delivery.
- Tell friends and family about your favourite local businesses.
- Post positive reviews on social media and the businesses’ Google listings.
- Engage with businesses through their social media posts by commenting and liking. This helps posts to become more visible to more people.
- Post photos to social media and send them into SooToday when events like the ongoing Sault Ste. Marie sign war happen.
Due North Cannabis Co. along with other area businesses recently participated in a creative way to support the community as well as each other’s businesses. “A great example of this was our 20 Days of Giveaways Charity Drive this past April where we partnered with Soo Mill, Giovanni's, Fratelli's, Burger Don, OC Beauty, and New North Greenhouses,” says Robert. “Every day for 20 days we gathered donations for local food banks and other community services and gave out some wonderful giveaway prizes to our customers. We were able to do good for the community and get our customers excited about supporting local.”
Local Owner Thankful for the Community’s Support
Robert is extremely grateful for the strong community support that Due North Cannabis Co. has received since they opened in February and is looking forward to a second location opening on July 5th. “First and foremost, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for choosing to shop locally. Local businesses are the backbone of our economy, they keep dollars local, have a smaller environmental impact and above all else they give back to their communities,” he says. “They create jobs, support local charities and other initiatives and put food on the table for local people. Local businesses protect the integrity of our culture and spur innovations on a local level that we can all be proud of.”
Supporting Soo businesses, especially during these difficult economic times, not only helps the business, but also helps the community as a whole. Everyone benefits when local businesses are vibrant and healthy.
Due North Cannabis Co. is located in the Churchill Plaza and their new location is set for its grand opening at 695 Pine St. on July 5th. Visit them on their website at duenorthcannabis.com to see their wide range of cannabis products and accessories or check them out on social media (Instagram and Facebook).