Who Are The People In Your Neighbourhood?
I live in GM country. The auto plant is just around the corner, and when you think of my neighbourhood, they're historically the first name to come to mind.
Yet when GM was threatening to close the plant a few years back (only months after we moved here), the community came together and survived just fine. We then made it through a global pandemic - still intact, still together.
That's because the real engine of our local economy is small businesses, just like it is across Canada.
Small business owners are made of some pretty tough stuff.
On a good day, they're forced to juggle multiple responsibilities at once, such as inventory, scheduling, marketing and business development, operations, receivables, etc.
On a hard day, several of those areas may be in trouble all at once. Supply chain hiccupss may make inventory or shipping difficult, staffing issues may be a struggle for operations, and a world upside down may be a real challenge for business development.
Needless to say, there have been plenty of hard days these past two years.
Through the pandemic, small business owners were hit with challenges that they never even imagined. Sadly, some small businesses simply didn't survive mandated business closures or capacity restrictions, which meant the end of a dream for owners and founders.
Many though not only survived, but thrived. Their agility, creativity, and sheer grit pulled them through, with some even managed to expand their businesses thanks to the shift online. Other business owners did a quick pivot at the start of the pandemic - finding new opportunities for revenue in areas Canadians sorely needed.
Where the pandemic built walls, small business owners carved out doors and charged right through.
So what can you do to support small business?
Your neighbourhood is full of countless small businesses that you may not even know exist! Many are likely operating virtually from homes on your very street, or in small locations around the corner that you walk by all the time but have never wandered in.
Buy from small businesses this week, and the week after that, and the week after that. Look for items that are locally made, or locally sourced. Grab a coffee from a local café, or lunch from that place you've been meaning to try. Make it a point to order online from a local business - you may even be able to pick up your order in person.
For small business owners, take time to acknowledge your community and everyone who has supported you, especially throughout the pandemic. Take a few minutes this week to reflect on all that you have accomplished, and thank those who have helped you get there. Find new ways to welcome potential clients through your doors, or onto your site, and think about how you can educate them on what you do and how you can help.
A Toast to Small Business Week
As a small business owner, I am incredibly grateful to my own small business clients. They have done so much to support my own venture, and in turn I do what I can to support theirs. Every referral to a small business is an opportunity for us to help each other, and that support is how small businesses continue to grow and thrive.
So to you, small businesses, thank you for supporting me, for supporting my business, and for supporting my community.
Whatever is coming next on the horizon, I have the utmost confidence that we will help each other continue to grow and succeed.