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Small businesses and neighbourhood associations make a pre-holiday push for shopping locally

Small businesses and neighbourhood associations make a pre-holiday push for shopping locally
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Local merchants were just getting used to the new way of doing business and gearing up for the make-or-break holiday sales season when COVID lockdown 2.0 clamped down.

“This is not a good time for anybody,” said Anna Sebert, executive director of the Beach Village BIA, which represents about 300 businesses along Queen Street East from Lockwood Road to Neville Park Boulevard. “Everyone was just ramping up and buying holiday stock, and then this lockdown came along.”

According to Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Small Business (CFIB), 67,000 more Ontario businesses are at risk of closing. That coupled with a recent Accenture survey that found that 71 per cent of Canadians will turn to online shopping this year, makes that extra effort to shop locally critical this year.

“Their survival really depends on customer support,” Jones said.

With that in mind, local shop owners, sympathetic residents and neighbourhood BIAs are coming up with new initiatives to make it easier for Torontonians to support their local retailers.

The Beach Village BIA has launched an online holiday gift guide , featuring local retailers and their products. It has direct links to their websites and social media pages.

“This is the first year we’ve done one, and since it’s online, we can add businesses daily and the featured products can be changed often,” Sebert said.
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