Tips to support local and stay safe

Looking for up-to-date information on how to stay safe while supporting small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues? Here are some ways you can support small businesses while also following the latest advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Top tip

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant health, social and economic impacts on Canadians.

Supporting local and small businesses is important and it can be done safely. However, personal circumstances may affect where, when and how you are able to shop during the pandemic. The best balance is always the one you can manage.

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In-person shopping, pickups and services

Supporting small businesses is easy. Follow these tips to ensure you do so safely.

1. Learn what small businesses exist in your area

  • Follow local and small businesses, such as stores, merchants, and restaurants, on social media
  • Subscribe to your local newspaper or community newsletter
  • Look for bulletins and events posted online such as on your local community centre, neighbourhood association, municipal and library websites
  • Read reviews of local and small businesses to help inform your decision

2. Plan ahead and stay safe

Before going out, make informed choices to keep yourself, your family and your communities safe. Check provincial or territorial public health resources for mandatory public health measures based on where you live.

Many local and small businesses will be happy to make your shopping trip or service experience a safe one. Depending on the type of business, you may also consider the following to reduce the amount of time you spend indoors or in a shared space:

  • Make a list, check online or call the business to see if what you would like to buy or order is available
  • Call ahead to request any accessibility accommodations, such as help while shopping or receiving services
  • Request curbside or outdoor pickup, if possible
  • Use the business's delivery service, if possible

Other ways to support small businesses

  • If delivery or pickup is available, order directly from the business instead of using a third-party app
  • Consider buying food that has been grown in Canada or made in Canada
  • If there are few retail options near you to buy local products, consider buying from elsewhere in Canada instead of abroad
    • Many popular online marketplaces will let you filter sellers who are Canadian, or who make or manufacture their products in Canada
  • If you have a favourite small business, let others know by sharing your experience and writing a positive review
  • Encourage your friends and family to support local businesses by purchasing gift certificates or gift cards from a local store 
  • Follow local and small businesses, such as stores, merchants, and restaurants, on social media and engage with their content

By shopping near where you live, you can help local businesses prosper, making it even easier to continue shopping locally in the future.