This year’s celebration of Small Business Week takes place from October 17 – 23 with the theme of ‘Seizing the Opportunity to Build a Way Forward’. Local businesses are the backbone of Stittsville and residents should remember that it is our patronage that keeps the lights on in our restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centres, dance studios and personal care salons — the services we love and enjoy.
For the past year and a half Stittsville business owners and staff have faced sacrifices unheard of previously — having to open, close, pivot and innovate. The steadfastness and resilience that the mom and pop shops have endured is to be commended. Sadly, we have lost a few, but those left standing still require our support.
Allan Ryan, President of the Stittsville Business Association (SBA) has, “always been a proponent of small local businesses – the mom and pop shops that drive the local economy,” he told Stittsville Central. “It has been a difficult time and my heart goes out to all of our businesses here in Stittsville. For those who have reengineered and pivoted – hat’s off to them. Most have kept afloat for the most part, but it is a tragedy for those that lost.”
“We must support our local businesses, and I ask you to reflect a bit more before visiting a big box store. It is our local business owner who supports our many sports teams or gives that gift card when called upon to donate to an event or local cause. They can always be counted on to give back to our community,” emphasized Ryan.
The SBA President also shared, “when we get back to some normalcy after COVID, I hope that lessons were learned, that we must help to sustain our local shops, not only locally, but provincially and countrywide. We must support Canadian made to help our economy grow in order to move forward.”
The Stittsville Village Association (SVA) also relies on our local business owners to provide support, donations and sponsorship of the various events held throughout the year. The local business community in Stittsville has always been there for the Association.
We spoke with the recently nominated President of the SVA, Joseph Carbonetto, to gather his thoughts on our community businesses and small business week. He emphasized, “this week we have to support those who are our baseline. Those who are our future. All of the largest corporations we know started from somewhere — from a basement, from a closet, from a small house — they grew to be what we know them as today. Our local businesses are the backbone of our community and they have struggled. We have lost a few, but please reflect before you go to the big box stores and support our local businesses — they are our lifeblood — they are the future.”
Carbonetto wants residents to, “please take a moment to visit, browse and shop in Stittsville. Support the hard working business owners, they are our future — and remember, LOCAL is Stittsville Strong.”
Dan Kelly, President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) wrote, “This week, I encourage all Canadians to continue to show their support of small business owners. On October 23, Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity to shop at your favourite neighbourhood spot, the local business that helps you feel at home in your community. CFIB encourages people to visit shopsmallbiz.ca, an online directory dedicated to finding and promoting locally-owned independent businesses. Please help us spread the word by using the hashtags: #SmallBizSaturday and #FindYourSpot over the course of Small Business Week.”
As our numbers slowly go down during this wave of the pandemic and restrictions ease, challenges still remain for our businesses. Many are finding it difficult to hire staff to fill vacancies and they are continuously catching up from the unprecedented expenses that came with the pandemic.
It is important to remember — to support, shop and think local! When you visit our local businesses, it is your loyalty that keeps their doors open so they can continue to give us the friendly, personalized, first class service that we are all familiar with.