For the last 18 months or so, we’ve all been talking a lot about supporting local businesses. Many of us believe passionately in placing our time and money into the places where the owners live here, and the work supports local families. I hope that all of us continue to take the actions that keep our dollars close to home.
But I want to challenge you to go further. Don’t stop at visiting a locally owned restaurant, store, coffee shop, or printer. Introduce yourself to the owner. Get to know the workers by name. Tell them who you are. Make supporting local businesses personal.
Slowly, things are transitioning to some sort of ‘new normal’. And for local businesses, that still involves a lot of unknowns while they work to recover from trying to keep their doors open during a pandemic. It’s a good time to make connections with these good people.
I met Bill a few years ago. He’s the owner of EK’s Grill on Glenmore Road in Kelowna, and we have the pleasure of chatting with him every week when we have our corporate meetings at his restaurant. Bill always makes time for us.
Desmond is the owner of Trade Exchange Canada. He came up with the LoLo Loves Local theme here in Kelowna last year. We are constantly talking together about what else we can do to support local businesses.
The good folks at Winfield Bakery in Winfield continue to offer genuine smiles while serving some of the valley’s best baking. Everyone who works there has a great attitude, which makes it that much nicer to step in their doors.
You might know that Jeff and Decoa are the owners of Ex Nihilo Vineyards in Lake Country. But did you know that they housed a local family who lost their home in a fire? That’s the thing about local business owners, they are wonderful people doing fantastic things right here in our neighborhoods.
These owners have absolutely been there for us throughout the pandemic. Many of them have gone above and beyond to give, help, support, and encourage our communities while not knowing if their businesses would even be around in the future.
They’ve been here for us. Let’s be here for them.
It’s pretty simple. The next time you walk into a business, ask if it’s locally owned. Ask to say hello to the owner or the manager. Thank them for contributing to our communities. Tell them what you love about their business. Support them with your dollars, your word-of-mouth referrals, and even a few good online reviews.
Which local businesses are your favorites?
Which owners have you had the pleasure of meeting?
Let’s cross the business vs personal line and make real connections and relationships with your awesome Local Businesses!