Small businesses, artists and artisans are struggling this year, with events and shows being cancelled, and stores having reduced hours and traffic capacity.
One example is the cancelled Red Roof Artists’ show and sale, scheduled for November 28 and 29 at the Community Enterprise Centre. The artists and the venue were unanimous that cancelling was the responsible decision in light of Covid concerns, but missing holiday season sales is a disappointment.
While there’s never been a more important time to shop locally to support businesses and artists, with a responsibility to stay home as much as possible, many of us are shopping more online. When a local business or artist has a website with sales options, we can shop online and still shop local.
When a business or artist we want to support doesn’t have a website, Keith Ayling, Bay Chamber of Commerce president, says we can often still buy from them. Keith says we should call the business or see if they have a Facebook or Instagram account where we can contact them for shopping options. “Many businesses have turned to creative solutions to serve their customers, including curbside pick-up, contact-free meeting and even delivery,” says Keith. “The first and most important step is to reach out to the business and ask.”
The same goes for artists and artisans. The Red Roof Artists, for example, have been sharing their contact information as a scanning code (and as a document, for those without the scanning technology, see link below), so people can still find them. It doesn’t replace the traffic offered by a show, but it helps motivated buyers to connect.
And for that, say the local artists, they are truly grateful.