There are many unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it's on the front-lines or in the volunteer section.
This week, Coquitlam residents are being asked to take up the mantle of good neighbours and provide an extra boost of encouragement to small businesses.
Small Business Week is more than just a week of recognition for those looking to make ends meet and provide for their families, according to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which organizes the annual event.
The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) explains it's a celebration of the hours of hard work and dedication each business had put in to diversify, strengthen and connect the community.
"Whether it's by supplying goods and services, providing well-paying local jobs, or paying fees and taxes that support our communities, Canada's entrepreneurs give back to their communities in countless ways while bringing energy and vibrancy to our neighbourhoods," said the TCCC in a statement. Small Business Week began Sunday (Oct. 17) and runs until Saturday (Oct. 23).
"In a year of hardships, small businesses deserve to be recognized and praised for continuing to keep us safe and remain open throughout the pandemic."
There are almost 7,000 licensed businesses in the Coquitlam area.
Economic development manager Andre Isakov adds most of the smaller enterprises are also involved in local fundraisers and volunteer events.
"More than ever before, small businesses need support," he said.
HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL?
So, what's the best way to support local businesses to ensure their resilience in the current stage of the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Money stays local
- Your purchases support the owners and staff as they most likely live in the same community
- Jobs provided
- Staff and business owners are members of our community
- Many support worthy causes, volunteer and sponsor sports teams
- Loyalty rewarded
- Get to know the business and staff may go the extra mile to meet your needs
- We are all in this together.
- "Without a reliable supply of customers, many small businesses could face hardships during these challenging economic times. Supporting your local business is supporting your local community," says the City of Coquitlam.
CITY SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
According to the city, Coquitlam businesses have been on the receiving end of supports — financial or otherwise — since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of those supports included:
- creating a Business Support Portal with comprehensive information about opportunities and resources
- initiatives from Tourism Coquitlam like listing local restaurants
- offering more online services and cutting red tape
- ie. Relaxing outdoor commercial space regulations, and adapting development application processes and fee schedules
- conducting business and consumer surveys to identify needs, attitudes and trends
- providing targeted business support through the City Economic Development Action Plan and multi-sector Community Support and Recovery Plan
In addition to putting a title on the calendar, Coquitlam is set to highlight local businesses and small business owners across its social media channels.
The TCCC is also doing the same via its website and YouTube channel.