A recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicates that 50 percent of small businesses have reported a drop in their sales as a result of the COVID-19 and coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever, the need to support local business amidst closures, reduction of hours, and social distancing has become a priority. But, how do you do it? Here are some ways you can invest in local businesses on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory:

Order Take-Out, or Delivery, or Gift Cards

How Best to Support Local Business in the Six Nations Community

Photo Credit: Facebook/Burger Barn

When it comes to restaurants and food service here on Six Nations, people can continue to show their support for them by ordering take-out, or delivery (if it’s offered,) or by purchasing gift cards to use in the future. This can help these local business owners to keep their staff employed and operations going. Places like the Burger Barn, The Krib on 54, Village Café, Hills Snack Bar, Erlind’s, and TnT Fast Food are just a handful of places you can reach out to in order to check on hours, whether they offer take-out and/or delivery, and whether they provided gift cards.

Supporting Service Businesses

Jokes and memes have circulated with respect to many staying home and cancelling their nail and hair salon appointments as a result of social distancing. But, it’s no joke to local spa owners, hair stylists, and aestheticians who rely on local business to stay afloat. To support them, you can opt to pre-pay for the future appointments you know you’ll be scheduling. Those listed in the Six Nations business directory released by the Two Rivers Community Development Corporation can be contacted via the link provided here.

Gyms, Sports/Event Dues, and Fitness Classes

How Best to Support Local Business in the Six Nations Community

Photo Credit: Pro-Fit Health Club

Those who were attending local gyms, paying membership fees or ordering tickets for sports or events like racing at Ohsweken Speedway, local golf, or taking area fitness classes can continue to maintain their monthly dues or memberships while at the same time looking for the online options that such locations may be offering. Online fitness and physical/mental health programming for improvement is being made available through what resources the local business owners have at their disposal. In some instances, their social media marketing has been amplified with more post sharing and video posts for those who miss seeing the activities first-hand. Supporting their initiatives can help support the employees and maximize their odds of weathering the storm.

Supporting Retail

How Best to Support Local Business in the Six Nations Community

Photo Credit: Facebook/ILA Sports

Places such as independent book shops, sporting goods retailers, and gift/art stores are also taking a hit. Grand Passage Outlet and ILA Sports are doing their best to keep regular business hours where possible, and if you’re one of the many people looking for ways to deal with impending cabin fever and have resorted to online ordering, consider making purchases via phone, web, or social media contact with local business like this before resorting to a big-box chain. Most can make arrangements for delivery or easy pick-up with little-to-no face-to-face interaction required.

Purchasing Presents in Advance

How Best to Support Local Business in the Six Nations Community

Photo Credit: Pixabay

If you’ve ever been annoyed at the friend or family member you know of who’s always ahead of the game when it comes to their Christmas shopping, or simply has a good stash of gifts they can have handy for birthday or shower invites, the good news is you can now be the annoying one! No, not really, but you get the picture. Now is a great time for people to buy gifts for family and friends, even if the time for giving is months away. As with the retail and service industry support tips above, make every effort to order online, by phone, or check out store social media pages.

Artists, Museums/Event Venues, & Freelancers

How Best to Support Local Business in the Six Nations Community

Photo Credit: Facebook/Adam Monture

With all of the recent closures announced, venues are rescheduling art showings, museum tours, musical performances, and book releases months out, if at all. In an effort to support local artists and freelancers, you might consider ordering local art online, order books direct from the author, and purchase music from your favorite local musicians through their social media or their websites. You can also reach out to venues for advance tickets for future tours and events.

Amid these uncertain times, these types of support will help local business owners as well as their workers, showing them that their an integral component of our community’s market. And, while support from our community governance and health care officials is so very vital right now, so are positive messages from within our own community of Six Nations.

Written by Spring Sault