The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says 91% of small businesses in Manitoba say that it is critical for small business survival that people make an extra effort to shop local this year.
The CFIB says it's teamed up with American Express to hold Small Business Saturday on November 28th, between Black Friday on the 27th and Cyber Monday on the 30th, and urges consumers to choose to shop small that weekend.
The Federation's Executive Vice-President Laura Jones says "It's easy to default to big box stores and online giants on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But it's the independent stores in our neighbourhoods that really, really need a boost this year-their futures depend on it. We're asking consumers to help by making conscious choices this holiday season and maybe doing things a bit differently. I've heard some commit to only shopping at small business this season. Others are looking online to support small businesses in parts of the country that are locked down again even if that's not where they live. If everyone makes an extra effort to support local more businesses will recover from the terrible hit they have taken."
According to CFIB's estimates, Canada could lose nearly 24,000 retailers and 30,000 hospitality businesses by the end of the pandemic. While Black Friday is the biggest shopping weekend of the year, two out of five small retailers say they typically see fewer customers than other weekends, suggesting shoppers are choosing big box stores.
The majority of Manitoba businesses (87%) have gone above and beyond provincial health guidelines. Small businesses have also made an extra effort to serve customers in new ways with many having made the jump to eCommerce and 86% of those with a business model allowing alternative shopping options, like curbside pickup and delivery, offering one or all of the services.
"In Manitoba, lockdowns are making in-person shopping nearly impossible. Fortunately, there are lots of online, phone and curbside options to support small businesses this holiday season and you can find ways to look for these small businesses at smallbizsaturday.ca. Let's unite in making an extra effort to support small businesses this weekend during this critical time of year," added Jonathan Alward, CFIB's director, prairie region.