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JILL ELLSWORTH: Keep the circle of support going

Workers for the Sweet Side Of The Moon Bakery and Cafe on McKeen Street in Glace Bay, Taylor MacNeil, and Olivia Lu, help customers as they come in to purchase baked goods and other treats. Both have been employed at the bakery and cafe for the past four months.
Workers for the Sweet Side Of The Moon Bakery and Cafe on McKeen Street in Glace Bay, N.S., Taylor MacNeil and Olivia Lu, help customers as they come in to purchase baked goods and other treats. - Keigan MacLeod

Three reasons to support small businesses in your community

Oct. 21-25 was Small Business Week here in Canada and serves as the perfect reminder of why it’s so important and beneficial to support the small businesses in your area.

During the week, events were held around the country to celebrate small business owners and everything they bring to our communities. So why should you join the movement?

Reason 1: Community is Crucial

We live in Atlantic Canada, so when you’re shopping or dining at your favourite local businesses, you’re supporting your neighbours, friends, and family members. The six degrees of separation theory suggests that all people are six or fewer social connections away from each other. In small towns like ours, that number decreases even more. So, you know your cousin Jake probably graduated from high school with the owner of the coffee shop downtown, whose daughter is in ballet class with your niece. Support your people! And in return, many small businesses will go out of their way to give back to the communities that show them so much love, so let’s keep this circle of support going.

Reason 2: Give and Get Back

Small businesses are a huge part of our economy and tourism industry, and are a guaranteed way to drive money back into our communities. When you look at a small business, you can see the hard work the owners put into their craft and be rewarded with a sense of pride when you contribute to their ongoing success. Customers can really develop a sense of ownership over their favourite local businesses and most business owners are eager to encourage it. Local business owners know and love their customers, which is why they remember your daily coffee order and can help you pick out the perfect Christmas gift for your picky aunt. To them, you are more than just a sale walking through the door.

Reason 3: Provide Hope

Local businesses bring character to our communities, inspire innovation, and provide hope to the next generation of entrepreneurs. More and more young people are taking the leap and opening businesses of their own in Atlantic Canada, and to give them your loyalty is to show your support for the future of business-savvy change-makers. To top it all off, local products are better! It’s as simple as that.

So, as the holidays draw near, keep these things in mind and push yourself to support local and spread the love!

Cash-Free Ways to Spread the Love

Support doesn’t have to be all about spending money. Here are a few extra ways you can show your favourite local businesses some love:

Social Media: This is a huge element in modern business success. Engage with the content your favourite local business is releasing. Comment on their posts, share their announcements, and help boost awareness for their business.

Write a Review: Have you had a positive experience with a local business? Share it with the world! Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools in the industry.

Let Them Know: If you like what a local business is offering, make it known. Hearing from customers helps business owners adjust their strategies for the future. Plus, if someone is doing a great job, don’t you think they deserve to know it? Put a smile on someone’s face by sharing your support directly with them.

Jill Ellsworth is a writer and communications specialist who lives in Dominion, N.S. Her column appears biweekly across the Saltwire Network. She can be reached at jillellsworth94@gmail.com.

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