The Small Business Struggle
Convenience vs Community
By Lucas Zylstra
"With online shopping, same day deliveries and Prime Days, these big corporations have made it so easy and so convenient to shop, and it's only making it that much harder for small local businesses to survive.”
Callum Zylstra, grade 12 Canterbury student and former employee of a now closed small business, saw first-hand the effects that massive corporations are having on local businesses. “It’s definitely worth it to walk a few blocks and go the extra mile to support a small business," he said. "Not only that but you feel better doing the right thing by supporting our local economy and getting out and doing something, rather than just sitting on your couch, buying something, and waiting for it to show up at your door.”
Callum is incredibly passionate and motivated to share this message with others because just a few months ago he tragically saw the beloved small businesses that he was working for be forced to close down. Mrs. Tiggy Winkles, a family-owned toy store that operated on Bank Street in the Glebe for more than 30 years, was forced to close down because the modern day consumer would rather save a couple bucks on their product than go and support a store that had been a staple of childrens’ childhoods for generations!
Tragically, the story of Mrs. Tiggy Winkles toy store is not unique. In April of 2020, the doors of 187 local businesses shuttered forever, in just one month! Statistics Canada reported that in June of 2020, a staggering 56,296 Canadian businesses closed. Can we stop this disturbing trend? This debate goes to the core of our what we value as consumers and community members.
“It’s definitely worth it to walk a few blocks and go the extra mile to support a small business."
- Callum Zylstra
With $48 billion in annual revenue last year and a valuation of over $250 billion, Amazon is simply a Goliath-like corporation, steam rolling over and ruining the hopes and dreams of small business owners on the daily. Not only that, but with the new lockdown policies in Ottawa forcing businesses to only sell their products through curb side pick up and online, it is even more apparent that the small businesses that have managed to remain open need your patronage!
Small businesses are important to the local economy, but also act as a community space. They are a place to foster connections and build relationships with neighbours and shopkeepers alike. If we as consumers don’t make a dramatic shift in the way we shop, the only stores that we will see surrounding us are big box chains that just don’t feel like home at all.
Please consider this before you halfheartedly click away to secure your next Amazon delivery.