EDMONTON – As Calgary begins reopening, some shoppers and community organizations are actively choosing not to buy things from large stores.
Instead, they shop at local independent businesses in some of Calgary’s most iconic neighborhoods.
In Kensington, the Peacock Boutique has seen a loyal customer base that continues to support their broadcast fashion.
“It’s the mom and pop stores that need people’s business more than ever after this whole COVID crisis,” said Michaela Verbrugge, the store’s social media coordinator.
Business executives say that local shopping has a direct economic impact.
“One dollar spent locally in Calgary generates $ 6 for our local economy. When you shop on Amazon, all the money goes elsewhere, ”said Annie MacInnis
She says there are 15 business improvement areas in Calgary representing 6,000 companies and that prior to covid employment, nearly 60,000 people were employed.
Inglewood is another established small business community that is using social media to encourage customers to come back after the COVID-19 closures are lifted.
Kevin Kent, owner of Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood, says he wants to lead the city through the economic and health crisis.
“I think our city is in a tough spot, I think our province is in a tough spot, and this covid-up stuff didn’t make it any better. The more we can do to keep money locally and support local businesses, the better we all are, ”he said.
The Canadian Federation for Independent Businesses has launched a campaign with the hashtag #SmallBusinessEveryDay offering free advertising to Canadian companies.
In a survey it conducted, it found that “three-quarters of consumers say they don’t spend as much overall as they did before COVID-19, but nearly half say they spend more at larger retailers, many of whom remain open during the pandemic were allowed to hit, ”said a CFIB publication.
Executives at Be Local Network, a values-based business support organization, say supporting independent locations offers additional social benefits.
“We know that shopping locally has a smaller environmental footprint compared to the big stores and that local businesses have been shown to have more advanced HR practices,” said Meredith Perich, social enterprise coordinator.
CFIB’s Small Business Week doesn’t take place until October and is sponsored by major banking firms such as Scotiabank, Chase Merchant Services, and Interac Corp. supported.