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Supporting local businesses, is it an empty gesture on your part?

[OP]
Deal Addict
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Aug 9, 2013
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Scarborough

Supporting local businesses, is it an empty gesture on your part?

Been hearing now to support local business but are people actually acknowledging it and going forward with it or is it just an empty gesture and ignoring it? I personally feel like I'm being told from all levels of government what to do, how to do it and when to do it and I really don't feel like being told how to spend my money. I have enough problems as it is, small businesses also tend to jack up their prices because they can't afford to buy in volume. According to the terminology a small business is anything considered 500 or less employees, that's still a pretty high number. When they say small business I'm thinking my local flower shop.
32 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2010
4876 posts
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Abbottabad
I think the majority of peeps on this forum don't give a rats azz about supporting local businesses. This is RFD. Lowest price gets my business.
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2015
3980 posts
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Toronto, ON
They want the economy to stay afloat. With imports/exports all over, they want the ma and pa shops to stay alive. Otherwise, after this pandemic, we'll just have big retail on every block lol.

Maybe not, the present debt seems to be just fine. If I think the timeline for history is really on a balance, why not say the debt is really what the people have to get back lol. Everything the world does is to get you to listen to monotone blandness. These politicians are too tired emotionally and physically to show any features on their face, they're stone faced. These are not emotional concepts that the world can learn to adapt naturally. It's a cycle of what is right, and a showcase of all that is wrong. Funny if someone gets hurt or is an idiot. Strange times no doubt, but we never have to adapt. We have our own lives we need to care for, and if we don't hear what the world is really saying, at least we don't get the printed, stamped and approved speeches they give to try and heighten awareness on their own policies, or because they have received complaints and concerns from people, and they're saying it's a problem because the people are voicing their concern. Why aren't there more and better concerns, I'm not so sure.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
1882 posts
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We rarely buy goods (clothing/luxury etc), and only do when there are deep discounts. Where our main spendings are now is grocery and take out. When choosing takeout, I definitely try to make an effort to support the true small businesses - mom and pop whose struggling driving a Toyota rather than say Messini's who I imagine the owner prob has a lambo or 2 in his garage.

My ex-neighbor who owns a small fish n chips which was fairly successful precovid had to sell his house to keep up rent at his store since its their sole income for his family of 7 so I definitely feel the pain of small business owners. His brother from Montreal lost their food court restaurant so he moved here and now all live together now in a rental to save on rent and combine their money to keep this fish n chips place open until this blows over and business can recovers. Def tough times for many out there and everything is on the line for them.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5391 posts
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Toronto
I don't want anyone to go out of business, but part of me is like - this isn't a Detroit situation where the places we live in are in a downward spiral, this is a (fingers crossed) temporary situation caused by government orders/restrictions and the progress of the virus. As soon as that lifts, people will want to eat out, travel, browse, exercise and so on again. And if there aren't enough businesses still open to fill that demand, then more will open again. So yes, I do support local businesses that I want to survive, but because I care for them specifically, not because I'm worried about my neighbourhood. Wherever something closes now, something will open again later.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 13, 2010
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Scarborough
Many people are now holding back from spending due to uncertainty of the long length of these lockdown, who knows which company will lay-off people next.
Jobs which people thought were forever have seen layoffs due to covid loss of revenues
Even places like ttc etc laid people off.

I guess most spending is now on essentials?
Food, shelter, medicine/necessities
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2015
3980 posts
31485 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Just like I don't feel any jealousy to anyone who's got more than me, I don't necessarily feel bad for someone that has less than me. It's all a cosmic resonance that needs to get you through this life, but your will and choices just like a choose your own adventure book or open-ended, large environment video game, let you do pretty much whatever is humanly possible to what you see around you. Money like blood is how you're fused together in this life physically or mentally. It's never-ending however the government works it around, and the fact that this is a staple of how we've become shows us that we gotta be more content with general things in life rather than say some places or people have too much so they're not getting my dollar. I think you go by what you need or at least want, so you should try a couple of things before buying more of one particular thing. Simple, do what you like.

That said, still taking precautions and in no way an anti-masker in retail settings but I do prefer the air, or even a germaphobe washing my hands too often after I come inside from being out and about. Just a routine I got used to and still can't snap out of it lol. Hopefully if we all do the same thing we all end up in a better place. We'll see.

To-add: It's generally in you to be a good samaritan, but if you're already doing what they're telling you, seems like they're just talking over your head. Still big box have more variety but people usually buy what they know/are used to. I think the fact maybe going to more stores if buying from smaller stores is deterring most from doing so.
Last edited by stinastr on Nov 27th, 2020 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Mar 22, 2020
371 posts
239 upvotes
We are not huge spenders and we do pay attention to price but we are actively trying to support local, small and Canadian businesses during the pandemic when we do make a purchase.

I let our Costco membership expire and probably won’t renew until this is all over. We are buying most of our vegetables from local farmers (they have a store that is open 2 days a week all winter). When we do take out we are getting it from non chains. I’ve ordered Ontario wine and bought directly from wineries. I’ve ordered spices and rice from smaller companies. We also switched our pharmacy to an independent pharmacy and are buying more from local independent grocery operators.

So yes more than usual I am thinking long and hard about who is getting our money right now.
Banned
Oct 14, 2020
72 posts
131 upvotes
I gave up on the whole "support local" ideology.

The local business owners generally provide inferior products at higher prices.
They also provide inferior customer service.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
5984 posts
3080 upvotes
Mississauga
Disagree. Unless the product you're selling can stand on its own - like BBQ boy Adam Skelly - you better be providing a superior customer experience. This isn't like a big-box store where you'll get punted from CS to manager and back if you have an issue; with a small business you're almost always dealing with the owner. And it's in his own financial interest to make sure you're satisfied.
Sr. Member
Oct 17, 2008
576 posts
137 upvotes
Earth
Gov should stop being greedy!! Support the citizens here so they can further pass on the support to the businesses...

Referring to #1, take a pulse on the CCP premium increase for 2021 and #2, pulse if not eliminate the carbon tax on essentials...i.e. Transport of food, transport to work and school...and most importantly heating our homes for the winter...
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
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City of Vancouver
It isn't hard to support local. I went to a greengrocer today to buy kale. It was definitely cheaper than Walmart.
De gustibus non est disputandum
Reverse dysfunction one step at a time.
Adversity is a growth opportunity. Change happens at the periphery.
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Aug 9, 2013
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Scarborough
Becks wrote: It isn't hard to support local. I went to a greengrocer today to buy kale. It was definitely cheaper than Walmart.
Perhaps you misunderstood the logic here, a small business who is considered essential isn't suffering the same way a small business is forced to close down it's doors. You are suppose to support those who can't open their doors and sell from the curb. I guess if I have to explain this to you then it defeats the purpose, you missed the memo there, bud.
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
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City of Vancouver
OrangeBerry wrote: Perhaps you misunderstood the logic here, a small business who is considered essential isn't suffering the same way a small business is forced to close down it's doors. You are suppose to support those who can't open their doors and sell from the curb. I guess if I have to explain this to you then it defeats the purpose, you missed the memo there, bud.
There is no lockdown here in BC, but we still have the "shop local" messaging. So, yes, u need to explain better.
De gustibus non est disputandum
Reverse dysfunction one step at a time.
Adversity is a growth opportunity. Change happens at the periphery.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
4224 posts
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WFH
Becks wrote: It isn't hard to support local. I went to a greengrocer today to buy kale. It was definitely cheaper than Walmart.
There are huge numbers of people living in the 'burbs, that don't have a local greengrocer. For these people local businesses are nowhere near as accessible as the big chains.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 6, 2010
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It really depends on what type of business we're talking about.

I don't necessarily like big stores, but I'm not a huge "handcraft" person too, I do lean more towards mid-size/large scale manufacturer products for most stuff. So to be fair, whether I buy a pair of Nike shows at The Bay or the local shop, not sure how much difference it makes since Nike is pocketing the majority of the money...

Restaurants/takeout is easier since most are "local" by definition.

I wonder for people who live in places like Seattle, WA or Beaverton, AK....is shopping at Amazon or Walmart considered "local" for them? :lol:
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9422 posts
1777 upvotes
Toronto
The problem I have with entitlement of owners in the restaurant business.
Restaurants as a whole fail miserably at a very high rate even in a booming economy.
I also cannot fathom why dine in is so very important when there is take out, curb side pick up, ubereats etc.
Only thing I can think of is they miss the subsidizing of their businesses by customers via tips and gratuities.
Customers also are not adapting an relish the waited on experience.
Many are not doing themselves any favors by not adapting, downsizing to suit the non dine in mode of operation.
Instead they prefer to sit and whine.
I am also sure many have pretty decent bank accounts from past profits, tips they kept for themselves etc.
I agree many still live in their mansions and drive high end German cars on credit.
Their businesses are incorporated and so separate entities so they are able to show the business suffering with hands out a begging.
Landlords have always been and remain money hungry and unwilling to renegotiate terms to suit the current situation.
Member
Nov 14, 2012
366 posts
191 upvotes
Government call to support local business is as empty as it gets.

Here in Niagara Falls they closed Casino, who employed 3000 local people and brought 10-20k out-of-towners a day to town spending in average $100 (not official figures, my estimates). Casino has spent significant amount of effort to make itself Covid era friendly, bought sanitizers and plexiglass by truckload. Eventually government allowed 20ppl on the gaming floor, it's absurdly low so they gave up. Funny, because local gyms were allowed to reopen with 100x less space and allowance for 40 fast breathing and sweating people on the floor

Instead now, we have a new Costco, that created whooping 40 new jobs (it moved from St Catharines). While Casino was a metaphorical golden goose (it brought outside money and spent big part of it here in town), Costco is a money sink, it takes money from local economy and spends it elsewhere. Very few items at Costco come from local sources, not sure if any.

I like the price $70 for full synthetic oil change, best rate I got from local business was $95. And Costco gas alone justifies my membership cost over the year. Now Niagara Falls has the cheapest gas in the region, used to be St Catharines while Costco was there. But only until 10pm, when Costco gas station closes, then everyone adjusts back. As a tourist town, we have lots of gas station per capita. I feel bad for the operators now, but not bad enough to ignore 5-10c/L price difference.

On another hand, all people that lost work have to start thinking how to replace their lost income, so we may see some new services and companies popping up. Perhaps not supporting local businesses, who offer mediocre overpriced products and services and their only market advantage is proximity, is not bad idea after all.
Last edited by ramon2 on Nov 28th, 2020 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Member
Mar 22, 2020
371 posts
239 upvotes
uber_shnitz wrote: It really depends on what type of business we're talking about.

I don't necessarily like big stores, but I'm not a huge "handcraft" person too, I do lean more towards mid-size/large scale manufacturer products for most stuff. So to be fair, whether I buy a pair of Nike shows at The Bay or the local shop, not sure how much difference it makes since Nike is pocketing the majority of the money...

Restaurants/takeout is easier since most are "local" by definition.

I wonder for people who live in places like Seattle, WA or Beaverton, AK....is shopping at Amazon or Walmart considered "local" for them? :lol:
I would argue even buying Nike from a local small company makes a difference. The owners of said store are more likely to reinvest locally than a rotating manager who does a 2 year stint. For example, where I grew up the people who own the local hardware store have created other businesses in town. In contrast, the Canadian Tire brings in a new manager every 1-2 years and they don’t invest in the local community. They get their small town experience and move onto a bigger store. Just my personal experience 🤷‍♀️

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