Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) estimates potential permanent closures of up to 222,000 small and medium-sized businesses, depending on how the situation evolves. That’s 21 percent of all Canadian businesses. The corresponding job losses would range between 962,000 and 2,951,000 Canadian workers.
While most of us are struggling financially right now, it is extremely important to support local small businesses whenever we can. Not only is it stimulating our economy, helping each other is simply the Canadian thing to do. Over the last few months, I have been trying to be more conscious of where I am spending my money. Although it’s not always possible for me to support local because—lets face it—shopping at Walmart or Dollarama is often less expensive and more convenient.
So, to support local business, I have three more small and medium-sized businesses that I have personally patronized and feel that the price, quality, and customer service deserve a shoutout.
Village Ice Cream
“We’re dedicated to making hand-made traditional ice cream in decidedly un-traditional shops. Our shops are for people to gather, share old memories, and create new ones. A place to wind down or rev up. A place to connect with fellow Villagers. Or, you know, a place to grab a quick pint of Salted Caramel for just you and a spoon – we get it.
At Village Ice Cream we strive to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates our diverse community. From our scoop shops to our kitchens, we are a safe space where all people are welcome and valued. We Are All Villagers, so come on in!”
Founded by a born and raised Calgarian, Village Ice Cream first opened its doors in 2012 and now has four locations—Victoria Park, Bridgeland, Britannia Plaza, and Garrison Corner. There are 10 “Always Flavours” as well as rotating seasonal and non-dairy options. Village calls their ice cream “a love letter to your mouth” and I could not agree more. My favourite flavours are North 49 Honeyberry, Two Hills Earl Grey, and Toasted Coconut.
Village also offers free kids scoops during any municipal, provincial, or federal election to encourage Calgarians to get out and vote!
“Hi! I am Marither (most of my friends call me Marie), mother to 2 wonderful children, wife to an awesome husband and a photographer living in the beautiful town of Cochrane. I have always loved taking photos and this became a strong passion when I became a Mom. I realized how important it is to have life’s beautiful memories captured so we can keep them with us forever. Outside of photography, I’m an avid reader, Friends-binge-watcher, partner in my husband’s company and full-time Mom. My husband (and my partner in this endeavour) has been very supportive of my passion, and having an art degree, has been a tremendous help in making every photograph a high quality product.”
I recently used Veroni Photography for my first professional family photo shoot. Marie was lovely. She made us feel so comfortable, like we were having our photos taken by a friend. She had no problem capturing more candid photos and generally accommodating my son, who has autism and struggles with following direction. Our photos turned out absolutely beautiful!
Level 1 Escape Room
“Can you escape? Are you prepared to solve challenging puzzles, riddles, and physical feats? Can you solve all the puzzles and escape in 60 minutes? Book a room today and find out!”
Located in the basement of a building tucked away in NE Calgary, Level 1 Escape Room can definitely be described as a hole-in-the-wall. I have done two escape rooms through Level 1 and both were fantastic—challenging puzzles, interesting plot, and super spooky (if that’s what you’re into!). Level 1 has seven different rooms with varying difficulty levels, and many without the scary elements, so there is something for everyone.
I recognize that these are all based in Calgary (where I live), so if these aren’t local to you, I hope this article can encourage you to research the small businesses and services available in your hometown. Let’s work together to stimulate the economy, practice environmental responsibility, and support our communities.