The Soaperie Notebook
4 Simple Ways to Support Local Entrepreneurs In Your Community
As of December 2017, 97.9% of employer businesses in Canada were small businesses, according to Statistics Canada. Within Canada, any producer of goods or services that employees between 1-99 individuals is considered to be a small business. This holiday season and beyond, I challenge you to reconsider your current consumer habits. Local businesses are essential; they create and preserve character in their neighborhoods, and serve as gathering places for like-minded individuals. Big-box stores make shopping easy, but how are they showing their support for your neighbourhood? When you shop at an independent business, your dollars stay in the community and help to foster development.
Tomoko Ogura said it best, "Supporting independent businesses fosters creativity, and it shows we are invested in our communities and their futures."
Here are a few ways you can show spread the local love without breaking the bank!
Shop at Local Markets
Farmer's markets, holiday markets, and spring collectives are a fun and easy way to support local entrepreneurs in your town. It's an enjoyable way to spend a cold day and do some holiday shopping. To find out when local markets are happening in your city, check out local publications, social media or search on Google. Shopping at markets during the holidays allows you to support your community, discover unique brands, and find thoughtful gifts for your family and friends! Next weekend, from December 6-8th, is the second weekend of The Royal Bison market in Old Strathcona. Stop in and get some of your holiday shopping done while also supporting members of the community!
Visit Local Shopping Areas
To begin shopping locally, you need to understand your neighborhood. Discover everything your city has to offer, spend the afternoon roaming around and exploring its different pockets. Walkable shopping districts are a fantastic spot to discover hidden gems in your community.
When we're craving a pain au chocolat or need a new skin serum, we stroll down 124 Street to visit Duchess Bakery and Pura Botanicals. If you're in the Old Strathcona and Garneau area, come to our flagship store, then visit one of the many quaint coffee shops. Downtown you'll find the 104 Street Promenade, home to the 104 St market. While you're there, make sure you check out Evoolution for delicious infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
Spend a sunny afternoon discovering all of the local businesses your community has to offer. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
Review and Follow Them On Social Media
One of the easiest ways to support a local business is by leaving positive reviews. Websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook are excellent platforms for you to leave your feedback. This form of digital word of mouth marketing enables small businesses to gain exposure. With their limited marketing budgets, this organic content lets them build a reputation, and it makes for useful marketing material.
A similar method is to follow and engage with independent businesses on social media. The next time you're at a local restaurant or shop, use Facebook to check-in. Engaging with content on a local business's social media helps them to become visible to more users on social media.
Make It A Habit
The best way to support businesses in your community is by shopping and dining at them! It can be as simple as buying ¼ of your groceries from a farmer's market or local supermarket as opposed to a big-box retailer. Buy a coffee from a local café instead of Starbucks, visit a local bar or restaurant for your next date night, or buy your holiday gifts from local shops and boutiques. By choosing to shop locally, you'll become mindful of where your products come from and where your consumer dollars are spent.
We want to take a minute to thank you. Because of you, WP fans, we're able to do what we love every day! Thank you for your continuous support; it has allowed us to be creative with an item simple as soap. By supporting local businesses, like ours, you're helping your local economy, enriching your community, and making your town or city a better place to live. For a list of local businesses in Edmonton, click here.