Supporting your local small business is more important during the Covid-19 crisis that ever before. Local small business owners are your neighbours, their kids attend our schools, they support other businesses and volunteer. Fernie needs these businesses to prosper to keep our community and economy healthy.
Of all businesses in Canada, 98% are small businesses, and these 98% employ nearly half of the people in the country’s private sector. The collective importance of these small businesses in the Elk Valley is comparable to that of Teck Resources. When you’re big, you’re noticed.
A large number of Fernie businesses are doing what they can to offer products and services during these tough times. Those shops and stores that are open are adhering to very strict B.C. health guidelines to ensure the safety of customers and staff. These local business are either allowing customers to visit their retail for direct purchases and delivery-based drops offs, or offering their products and services online.
Here is the list of those businesses complements of the Fernie Chamber and Fernie Tourism: BusinessDirectory-COVID19
Positive community impacts of small business
Here is more robust list of the positive impacts of small business on local economies like Fernie’s:
• Local businesses are more likely to utilize other local businesses such as banks, service providers, and farms.
• For every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 will stay in the community
• Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community in which they operate than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.
• Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors! They care about and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future.
• Local businesses are more accountable to their local communities and donate more money to non-profits.
• Supporting local businesses is good for the environment because they often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies.
BC Chamber Covid-19 Insights
There is risk that a large number of Fernie’s small businesses will not survive the Covid-19 crisis. The Mindreader Platform, a BC Chamber insight business community, recently wrote:
Individual businesses in B.C. are experiencing the crisis differently, depending on their sector, location of operations, size, exposure to global supply chains, and the impacts of other global market forces.
The small business data paints an ominous picture of what businesses are experiencing now and what they expect to face in the future:
• More than 50% of businesses are concerned they will be insolvent or not have the fiscal capacity to restart their business.
• Nearly one-third are planning to cancel or have had contracts or tenders cancelled, while a quarter will defer or cancel capital projects in the next two weeks.
• Businesses are trying to pivot with 23% increasing efforts towards online, digital, or e-commerce options.
• Businesses tend to expect the economic rebound in their market will be slow (55% versus 14% fast) but a sizable group is unsure (31%).
Timing is everything, think again about who you are supporting and why we need our small businesses to survive this crisis!