Shopping Local in Challenging Times

by | Mar 19, 2020 | Blog Posts

During this time of global uncertainty, I think many would agree that the local economy, including our small businesses and independents, will be weighed down by the impact of COVID-19, especially as we implement practices like social distancing and self isolation.

Small business owners are risk takers by nature. They choose to invest in our community and our neighbourhoods with the hope that the community will give back to them with the same vigor. These are the folks that hire our children, sponsor our sports teams and community groups and are the lifeblood of our sustainable local economy. And, they are our neighbours.

The local businesses in Uptown Waterloo add to our core’s vibrancy and enrich our community daily. Their owners and staff are often the people you know by name. We celebrate when these local names succeed and lament when they are forced to close their doors.

The largest cluster of independent businesses in our City is located in Uptown – a dynamic collection of over 475 unique entrepreneurs. For many of these businesses, their success relies on the personalized connections they have made with their patrons – with you.

Shopping Locally – A Necessity

Shopping locally during this challenging time is more than a “good idea.” It is a necessity to help keep Uptown’s small businesses flourishing for all the reasons mentioned above and more.

As our community continues its mindful effort to reduce close contact with others during this unprecedented time, there is an instinct to find a “one-stop shopping” solution for our everyday needs. This tactic tends to overlook the incredible value that comes from patronizing your favourite, neighbourhood independent businesses.

The Uptown business community has proven to be a resilient and adaptable group that champions innovation – especially given the last six years of construction and disruption. Now we are asking our friends, neighbours and the public to think “outside the box” and find new and inventive ways to support small businesses with many products and essentials available at our local, Uptown merchants.

Here are some ways you can support Uptown businesses:

  • Buy meals from local restaurants and eateries for delivery or takeout
  • Shop at Uptown retailers online
  • Use shipping, door-to-door and delivery services that many of our businesses have made available
  • Purchase gift cards for future use – businesses will receive the revenue now while foot traffic is down and you’ll have something to look forward to! Makes a great birthday or anniversary gift!
  • Contact the BIA to purchase Uptown Dollars to be used later
  • If you’ve purchased a ticket for an event or show – instead of asking for a refund, allow the business to keep the money to cover unforeseen costs due to closure or employee wages
  • Spread the love online! Share, tweet, post about your favourite small business and how you’re supporting it….and while you’re at it, write them an amazing Google review
  • Tune into livestream shopping events and tours – some of our retailers have been hosting these on Facebook and Instagram
  • Sign up for online classes – whether it’s yoga, art, or even a therapy session, many businesses are offering livestreamed classes/sessions
  • Don’t cancel appointments, reschedule if possible – many Uptown services are still in the office and making future bookings
  • Keep paying memberships
  • When businesses reopen:
    • Purchase coffee grounds from your local coffee shop
    • Pick up bread or baked goods from your local bakery
    • Purchase your personal items such as groceries, shampoo, soaps, face wash, creams etc. from local businesses instead of big, box stores

We are updating our website daily with resources and information for small businesses, landlords and the public.

Thanks for making “choose local” a priority. We are all in this together and with your help, our Uptown merchants will be able to return to business stronger and ready to serve you.

~ The Board and Staff of the Uptown Waterloo BIA

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