How the Pandemic Inspired me to Shop Small
My need to shop and support small businesses came out of my general fear of COVID. I had NO idea what the hell was happening when the pandemic first started. Most days, I woke up with unbearable anxiety:
Was I going to lose my job? (I did) Would I max out my credit card buying things I didn’t need? (also did this) Would life go back to normal in 2 weeks? (still waiting on this one)
To say that life was a constant uphill mental battle is an understatement. Anytime I turned on the television, logged into twitter or checked IG, I was met with bad news:
No more toilet paper.
an increase in COVID cases and COVID-related deaths
No more toilet paper.
More stay at home mandates and lockdowns
No. more. toilet. paper.
Then things went from bad to worse: people began losing their jobs, businesses and homes.
I, like everyone, felt pretty helpless. Wearing a mask and staying home helped flatten the curve; I always felt like it wasn’t enough. Every day, regular people lost their businesses or struggled to stay afloat.
According to Statistics Canada (2020), small businesses account for “98% of all employer businesses in Canada and employ around 9.7 million people. That’s 64% of the total labour force.”Stephanie Tam, Shivani Sood, Chris Johnston (2021)
With statistics like these, it’s easy to see just how impactful the pandemic has been on people and their businesses.
Making the Choice to Shop Local/Small
I realized that if I was going to max out my credit card, I should try to put my money towards the companies that deserve it. I began to actively look for small businesses and I was not disappointed with the results.
There are TONS of amazing businesses that are just waiting to be discovered! I began sharing my finds on social media and was able to create a fun community of people who wanted to support locally. I know what you’re thinking, “Tomachi, why is buying from small businesses necessary?”
Well, here are a few reasons to support and shop small:
- It’s more sustainable. Smaller businesses tend to be more focused on creating and upholding sustainable packaging
- It helps to stimulate the economy
- More creative/innovative. Small businesses tend to have a little extra oomph. I’ve been able to find some of the most amazing, unique pieces that I just wouldn’t have been able to find on Shien or Amazon.
- Community support.
The Small Business Log
To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite small businesses. My log will never truly be complete, however, I’m enjoying trying out new things!
Let me know if you end up shopping at any of these places. I’d love to know how it goes!