Ways to Support Small Businesses

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How intentional is your spending? Many of us budget our funds to ensure we’re spending wisely, but we don’t always consider how our routine spending can have a wider impact.

By making a conscious decision to spend money at small businesses, you’ll give the Nova Scotia economy a big boost. According to Statistics Canada, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotians spent over $1 billion per month at retail businesses. As businesses begin to re-open, let’s consider them as part of our purchasing options. If everyone chooses to once again spend a small portion of their budget at small businesses, it could result in recirculating millions of additional dollars within Nova Scotia. Feeling inspired but not sure where to start? Here are some ways to support small businesses for even the most budget-conscious consumers: 

  • Explore your options — Sometimes there is a perception that shopping at unique, small shops means spending more, but it isn’t that simple. While it may not be as quick as opening a shopping app on your phone, taking a little extra time to research businesses in your area can lead you to discover competitive prices and unique options to suit your lifestyle. Even if you don’t make a purchase this time, being aware of all your options helps you make informed decisions and may inspire you to visit a small business another day.
  • Spend the money you’d spend anyway — Many small businesses can be incorporated into your routine spending. For example, if you’re a daily coffee or tea drinker, consider switching from a chain restaurant to a small cafe. The same rule can apply to grocers, restaurants, shops or any manner of spending. Even a $5 daily or weekly spend can make a big difference.
  • Give the gift of unique shops — Giving gifts is a great way to introduce someone to one of your favourite small businesses. Not only are you supporting small shops by purchasing an item, service or gift card, you may just introduce someone to their own new favourite spot to shop or eat.
  • Help spread the word — Word of mouth goes a long way for small businesses and you can be their advocate. Start by telling a friend or family member about a business, product or service you love. You could also share their social media posts and accounts or post a review online. Any of these simple actions can help inspire others to try new products and services, and may even create life-long customers.

Next time you consider your spending habits, think about how small businesses fit into your plans. Can you make room in your budget and lifestyle for any of the suggestions above? If you have questions about incorporating small businesses into your spending activity — or even starting your own small business — we can help. Reach out to a member of the CUA team at 902.492.6500.

Revised Jul. 14, 2021

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