Christmas wish: Now, more than ever, your community needs you to shop local

By Melissa McFarland

Now, more than ever, your community needs you to shop local

As the holiday season approaches, there’s no doubt that the usual festivities in every facet of our lives will look somewhat different this year.

For Downtown Lindsay, community events have two benefits – fostering community spirit, and supporting our downtown businesses by encouraging holiday shopping and dining. The fear is that without the gathering events, that the traffic into our small businesses will suffer.

The pandemic that has dominated the majority of 2020 has negatively impacted numerous industries, and small businesses aren’t unique. But what is unique are the people behind these storefronts – not industries, not corporations, but real people who live in our community, and had the most challenging business year of their lives.

They’ve had to make tough decisions, ones that have no choice but to impact their personal well being as well — and not all of them were able to weather the storm. The ones who did are feeling unsure of their future in a pandemic that hasn’t gone away at this point.

‘Shop Local!’ has been a phrase heard again and again in the last six months, and our small businesses have been heartened by the show of community support. There was traffic to their newly created online stores, customers willing to be patient and accommodating of curbside pickup and deliveries, and social media posts showing support to their favourite businesses.

Many of these shops and restaurants are just about ‘back to normal’ – as much as that’s possible. There’s no doubt this holiday season is more important than ever before. A successful holiday season may be the make-or-break for many businesses as they look back on their 2020 and decide if 2021 is even going to be feasible.

Fortunately for all of us, our retailers and restaurants are ready to serve you. All have policies and procedures in place to ensure their customers and staff can have safe experiences and workplaces. Your shopping and dining experience this holiday season can be as creative and fun as it always has. If you’re having trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year, perhaps a trip through the downtown, visiting our specialty shops and crossing items off your list could be just the ticket.

If you’re feeling like in-person shopping isn’t ideal for you this year and find yourself turning to the computer to complete your lists, consider that many of our local businesses have put their stores online. Government funding became available in the closures of this past spring for small businesses to develop an online platform — and many in Downtown Lindsay accepted the challenge.

They now have beautiful, functional online stores that give you the same convenience as the major online retailers, but with the bonus of knowing that you’re supporting the dream of someone in your community, and not lining the pockets of multinational corporations.

The pandemic has caused many of us to re-identify and re-align our priorities. What is important to us may be different now than it was a year ago. What we do know is that our communities need thriving downtowns, and the holiday spirit can be alive and well, with support from our local community, and people like you.

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