As the second wave rears its ugly head, your business community grows ever-more anxious about what is to come. Many of them have already endured months of being shut down, or been seriously compromised. Some of them still are. And some of them haven’t made it.
The pandemic has demonstrated a number of things, but one of the most important is the simple value of a job, and what it takes to create one. I could throw multiple layers of statistics at you to explain just how important things like industrial and commercial taxes are to the basic functioning of a Township, County, a City, Province or Country, but to keep it simple, think in terms of jobs, taxes, license and permit fees. Business taxes alone contribute 23% of the City of Peterborough's $286 million budget. Of the County's total levy of $46.7 million, roughly 6% comes from business taxation. And while the residential tax component is always a bigger piece of the pie, consider that vast numbers of those residents are employed by those same local businesses…
Now add in what small local business contributes to the Provincial and Federal coffers. The pandemic has put large chunks of this at risk…
What can you do about it? Commit to supporting the businesses that support you.
I’m sure you’ve heard all of the arguments before, but my sense of where we stand right now, and in the coming months, is that it is critical that we go out of our way to try and ensure that our local businesses survive.
A major report by RBC outlining anticipated changes post-pandemic includes a shift in how we shop. The report predicts broad acceptance of online shopping, and yet much broader support for all things local, including a willingness to order online and pick up in store. 42% of online purchases in June were “Buy Online, Pick Up in Store”. This could bode well for the local retailer, as they work hard at establishing
some form of online purchase option for their customers.
And while it might on the surface appear to require a bit more effort, nearly 80% of Canadians say they’re more likely to choose Canadian brands/products, which I find really encouraging.
You can count on major multi-national corporations to take advantage of the pandemic and its aftermath, by offering increasingly slick and attractive purchasing. Just a couple of taps on your phone and your product magically appears on your front porch before sundown. I can only hope that more and more consumers will start to question where a product comes from, who made it, and what it took to get it to their front porch by sundown…
The next couple of months will see many of the usual shopping “events”, including “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, “Amazon Prime Day”, not to mention Christmas and Boxing Day! There will be lots of deals out there, and I know you’ll take advantage of them. I just hope you’ll do your research and choose local whenever you can. PtboPrime anyone?
Local retailers are stepping up. They are increasingly able to compete on price, delivery, and a sophisticated and convenient online experience. Many who can are already online and can be easily found.
The Chamber of Commerce is putting the finishing touches on a new online LoveLocalPtbo Marketplace, launching in the next few weeks. The site will provide convenient access to all of our members, including our important Not for Profit/Charitable sector, who have suffered badly these last few months.
Your Super Power is to think local, support local, buy local, love local. To quote a good old-fashioned Chamber of Commerce slogan, “Keep Your Town in Business, by Keeping Your Business in Town”.