The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on every industry, but small businesses were hit the hardest, especially during the second wave. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), 2020 has been one of the toughest years ever for small businesses, with only 38% of small retailers reaching their sales levels and one in seven (about 158,000) at risk of shutting down before the end of the pandemic. Starting this new year, Canadians are asked to shop consciously by support small businesses in their communities. Here are five reasons why it’s a good idea now, and in the long run:
- It boosts local economy. When you shop at your neighborhood stores, more money is kept in the community because small local merchants will likely buy from other local businesses, service providers, of farms, creating a flow of money that will help grow the local economy. Your purchases also contribute directly to shop owners’ salaries so they can support themselves and their families.
- It creates jobs. According to Statistics Canada, small businesses make up to 98% of all employer businesses in Canada and have an impact on the overall economy of the country. When you shop local, you help create job stability for working citizens.
- It builds relationships. Shopping at large retail chains can be frustrating, especially during a busy time like the holidays. When you shop at a small local store you get attentive customer service and an overall stress-free experience. Little shops don’t see as many clients in a day, and employees have time to welcome you properly, ask about your needs, make suggestions, and customize your orders.
- It nurtures communities. Many of the small business owners that you support through your purchases pay if forward by donating some portion of their profits to youth sports associations, hospital fundraisers, or other local organizations. This is especially important during the pandemic, but at all times really, because it enables local communities to thrive.
- It empowers. As a customer, you have a choice. What you buy—and how you buy—can make a difference. When you decide to support a local merchant from your community, you also support sustainability, the environment, local economy, and the Canadian economy as a whole.
CFIB data shows that more than 150,000 Canadian small businesses have entered the e-Commerce space since March 2020, so about a third are now offering online sales combined with curb side pick-up. They have shown resilience and creativity by embracing mobile and contactless payment technology, and other innovative shopping experiences to make shopping easier and safer for their customers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, OTT Pay has made every effort to anticipate the needs of our retail clients and to connect them with their customers through reliable and secure online payment solutions or marketing initiatives developed with our mobile payment partners Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay.
Businesses looking to create more value locally or would like to learn more about using mobile payment solutions to shop at their local stores can contact our Customer Support team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-800-688-9838.