As we navigate such a turbulent year within our local and global community, you’ve no doubt heard about the importance of supporting local business. That’s because small businesses are truly the backbone of our communities; they create jobs, they bring life to our main streets and they give back to community organizations and events.
In fact, as of December 2017, there were 1.15 million small businesses in Canada – that’s 97.9% of all employer businesses across the country! There’s a good chance that you or someone you know works for a small business. Many have, unfortunately, taken a hit due to the closures, restrictions and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Wondering what you can do to help them out? Here are our very own tips on how to support local businesses in Cayuga and beyond:
Shop at Your Local Farmers Market
What better place to enjoy fresh, local goods than at a farmers market? Whether the market is a permanent fixture or simply a weekly pop up in a parking lot, there’s sure to be a farmers market in your community.
Shopping at a farmers market means farm-fresh goods and the chance to ask questions and learn more about what you’re buying. In most cases, there will also be many other local vendors selling delicious baked goods, artisan crafts, fresh flowers and more!
Here are some local farmers markets you can visit:
- Caledonia Farmers Market (Thursdays, 3:00-7:00 pm)
- Dunnville Farmers Market (Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7:00 am-12:00 pm)
- Simcoe Farmers Market (Thursdays, 9:00 am-4:00 pm)
- Port Rowan Farmers Market (Fridays, 3:00-6:00 pm)
Hours may change seasonally as well as due to evolving COVID-19 restrictions. Please confirm dates and times with the markets before heading out!
Buy Direct From Farmers
Another excellent way to support local farmers is to buy directly from them. That means what you pay goes directly to the farmer without part of the cost going to an intermediary and you get extra fresh goods that haven’t lost any freshness while in transport.
A great way to buy direct, other than a farmers market, is to stop by a roadside stand or a shop they operate on their property. You may even be able to arrange pick up or delivery, either by contacting them directly or through an online ordering system. Many farmers and small businesses have introduced these systems as a way to minimize face-to-face contact while maintaining sales.
Shop at Small Businesses
What better way to support the local economy than the small businesses that operate right in our very own neighbourhoods?
Sure, stopping by the big box stores can be a convenient, one-stop shopping experience. When you shop at a small business, however, your money stays in the community to support the owners, staff and their families instead of far-away executives and their shareholders.
We’d say that’s a pretty good trade-off for making a few extra stops to get your shopping done!
Shop Local When Shopping Online
Supporting local businesses shouldn’t end once you go online! Online shopping, especially in today’s day and age, doesn’t mean that your only choices are Amazon or the big retailers.
Due to the pandemic, many local storefronts have introduced e-commerce websites to allow them to keep running when they had to shut down or to connect with customers who prefer not to shop in-person. You may even be able to place an order over the phone, e-mail or social media messaging.
By supporting local businesses online, whether within your own community or further afield in Ontario and Canada, you’re helping businesses stay afloat, creating local jobs and supporting the families of your fellow community members.
Give Them An Online Review
If you love a local business, why not share it for the internet to see? Many new customers take reviews into consideration when making purchases, so the more positive ones a business has the better. The best places to leave a review include Google, Facebook and Yelp.
Google reviews, in particular, can not only sway a potential customer’s decision, they can also help the business’ listing show up more frequently to reach even more people.
Share Their Social Media Posts
You don’t have to be a paying customer to support local! A simple social media share can go a long way in helping them reach new audiences and customers.
Not only does sharing a business’ post expand its reach to your own network, word of mouth can have a significant impact on someone’s decision to make a purchase. By sharing a post yourself, you’re giving it your stamp of approval and your followers are much more likely to pay attention to it.
So there you have it! Six of our favourite ways to shop local right here in Cayuga, Haldimand County, Norfolk County and beyond. Every action, big or small, goes a long way in supporting our local businesses as we make it through these challenging times together. How will you share some local love today?
When you choose to support Cayuga Mutual, you’re choosing to support a local business. Your premiums stay in the community to support local projects, jobs and our economy. Contact our agents today to get started with a new insurance policy for your family or business.