It’s no surprise that all businesses have been affected by the global pandemic, but it has affected some businesses much more than others. It seems that small businesses have been hit the hardest. Our precious mom & pop shops that are staples of the YEG local culture.

As you probably already know, the wedding industry was hit hard this year. Between cancellations, postponements, and down-sizing, some businesses have had to close their doors even. And this is something we hate to see amongst our amazing vendors. The big box stores don’t need the financial support right now – local businesses, run by your neighbors do! Keep the local economy flowing and flourishing by spending your money at local businesses. So! Here’s a few ways you can help support local (whether you’re in Edmonton or any other location).

Join a local gym

While being shut down or operating at a lower capacity, a lot of gyms have started to offer their classes online or have started streaming workouts. You still get the benefits of being led by a trainer, but don’t have to worry about putting yourself in a situation where you could contract COVID more easily.

Order out

All restaurants are operating with a lower customer capacity. This gives them far fewer chances of making ends meet and servers are making fewer tips. Order take out or delivery to support your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots – then tip, tip, tip! Take it a little further by supporting local restaurants who purchase their products from local vendors as well!

Purchase gift cards

Maybe you’re not looking to pick anything up for yourself right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t support. Purchasing gift cards is a perfect way to support your favorite local shops. It gives the business some operating capital instantly and then you have a gift card set aside for future purchases. OR gift that gift card as a birthday gift or to a friend in need – we all know someone who could use a helping hand right now.

Shop at a local grocer

those small, local grocers need some love too. They are often operating with smaller margins, so you might not get the discounts that a big box store could give, but you get the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with helping a mom & pop shop stay open. Coops are always a good option too! While they might be considered a big box store, they do put in efforts to purchase produce, meats, and other goods from local farmers and producers.

Check out local liquor

There are sooo many breweries and distilleries in the Edmonton and surrounding area (basically around any center really!). Most of which purchase their ingredients from local farmers too! Next time you’re picking up some after work brews, consider purchasing directly from a local brewery – or at least choose a local brand when you go into the liquor store.

Send flowers to a friend

We all could use a little pick me up every now and then. Inject someone’s day with a little colour by sending them a thinking-of-you bouquet. OR have some flowers delivered to the nurses at your local hospital – these local heroes could always use a little extra praise in their day!

Get your makeup and hair done

It seems like the beauty industry was hit the hardest of all. Most hair salons and makeup artists had to close their doors completely during quarantine and even once they opened again they have had to operate at a much lower customer and staff capacity. So, even if you aren’t getting married – book an appointment and treat yourself to a day of beauty. And don’t forget to tip!

While social distancing is still essential, there are a few ways to support local from afar!

Like and comment on your favorite local business’s social media posts. Share their posts with your friends so they can have an opportunity to support too. Give a social media shout out or leave a pleasant review on google. All of these things are great ways to support local businesses even when you can’t support financially.

Honeymoon at home

We know that it feels so good to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but with travel restrictions still in place, there are many awesome options for having a romantic honeymoon at home (even if home just means staying in your province). Check out local parks, book a room at a boutique hotel, order in from your favorite spots, check out upcoming outdoor events… there are so many options here!

Finally, for those of you going ahead with your wedding – if you have any budget left over (due to downsizing your guest list), think about spending that money in another area. Like amping up your florals or purchasing rather than renting your suits. Those small businesses will be super thankful.

We’d hate to see some of our favorite Edmonton staple businesses shut down, so support local wherever you can!

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