Calgary shoppers support local business during COVID-19 crisis
EDMONTON -- As Calgary begins to reopen, some shoppers and community organizations are actively choosing to not to buy things from big box stores.
Instead, they are shopping at local independent businesses in some of Calgary’s iconic neighbourhoods.
In Kensington, the Peacock Boutique has seen a loyal customer base continue to support its consignment fashion.
“It’s the mom-and-pop shops that need people’s business especially now more than ever after this whole COVID crisis,” said Michaela Verbrugge, social media coordinator for the shop.
Leaders in the business community say there is a direct economic impact from shopping locally.
“One dollar spent locally in Calgary generates 6 dollars for our local economy. If you’re shopping on Amazon, all that money is going elsewhere,” said Annie MacInnis
She says there are 15 business improvement areas in Calgary, representing 6,000 businesses and pre covid employment was nearly 60,000 people.
Inglewood is another established small business community that’s taken to social media to encourage customers to come back after COVID-19 closures were lifted.
Kevin Kent, owner of Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood says he wants to see the city come through the economic and public health crisis.
“I think our city is in a tough spot, I think our province is in a tough spot, and it wasn’t made any better by this covid stuff. The more we can do to keep money locally and to support local businesses and enterprises the better we all are,” he said.
The Canadian Federation for Independent Businesses has launched a campaign using the hashtag #SmallBusinessEveryDay and offering some free promotion for Canadian businesses.
In a survey it conducted, it found “three-quarters of consumers report not spending as much overall as they did pre-COVID-19, yet almost half report spending more at larger retailers, many of whom were allowed to stay open when the pandemic hit,” said a CFIB release.
As well, leaders with the Be Local Network, a values-based business support organization, say there are added social benefits to supporting independent locations.
“We know that the environmental footprint of shopping locally is reduced as compared to the big box stores and local businesses have been shown to have more progressive HR practices,” said Meredith Perich, social business coordinator.
CFIB’s Small Business Week is not until October, and is supported by major banking corporations like Scotiabank, Chase Merchant Services and Interac Corp.