How to support your favourite Glebe businesses during a lockdown
It’s not easy out there. Let’s face it, with the province’s second Stay-at-Home order, Ottawa residents, business owners and employees have been faced with yet another forced closure to their businesses and their lives with only curbside pickup, delivery and takeout available to customers.
But despite not being able to walk into your favourite shop or restaurant to try on a new dress, new kicks or share a meal with you new beau – or even get a new haircut, you can still support your favourite shops in a number of ways. While gift cards and online products won’t pay all the bills, every little bit helps, says Stephanie Boucher, owner of Stephanotis Hair.
“Selling gift cards and product help a tiny bit, but definitely not enough to keep the lights on or pay your rent,” she says, adding that customer can simply email their product orders at email@example.com and pick up their order via curbside. Gift certificates are available online at www.stephanotishair.ca.
“A big thank you to all of our clients for their ongoing support the last year.”
Gift cards are a great way to support your local service shops that have been shut down. Places like Silver Scissors Salon, Capital Barbershop, Hair on Second Avenue and Rinaldo’s can’t actually offer their services during a shutdown, so purchasing gift cards puts cashflow in their hands and helps them keep the lights on.
For retailers, it’s a bit easier, but still a daunting task to convert your in-store shoppers to online buyers. Just ask Compact Music owner Ian Boyd, who recently adapted his website into an e-commerce record shop in the Glebe to entice more and more music lovers to purchase the new Offspring record or Death From Above 1979’s Is 4 Lovers from his new website.
“The goal of the website is not only to convert existing customers to online but add to our customer base,” says Boyd. “Very good friends of the store will buy but to add to the customer base has been a challenge. We find that it is working as we recognize some of the individuals who pickup and also we are seeing new faces from website purchases. Remember that music lovers browse all stores as we all offer slightly different choices.”
Boyd adds that he feels that music stores should be considered essential, as music, “has a way of calming people,” especially during the challenging time we currently find ourselves in.
“Music has been proven to help heal people and we need healing now as this pandemic continues seemingly unabated.”
But it’s not only music that is a true escape from the world around us, but a good book can transport you to another planet, another era or a completely new world. From entering a new phantasy world set by the brilliant Anne Lacke to informing yourself on social movements like Black Lives Matters, Me Too and reconciliation, Octopus Books has the literature you should be reading right now.
“We have been really encouraged by people’s commitment to our little store, supporting local, and also the books we are selling,” says Greaves. “We have seen a huge increase in sales of books on anti-racism and works by black and indigenous authors and that has reinforced for us the value in what we are doing.”
Since the pandemic began last year, nearly everyone of our businesses have adapted some sort of online model for its customers whether they’re looking for new kicks, clothes, sporting goods, tools, building supplies or art. Our local merchants leave you no excuses to shop outside the neighbourhood.
“A big thank you for the support and patience we have seen over the last year,” adds Greaves. “People have been flexible and kind and that has meant a lot.”
It’s been a similar sentiment at JD Adam Kitchen, where co-owner Jennifer Adam says that her customers have been loyal to ordering online, even though she doesn’t have an e-commerce website. Customers browse the website, call and email orders and pick up via curbside. After 32 years in business, JD Adam customers usually know what they are looking for before entering the store.
“It’s definitely a lot of work and sometimes works out and sometimes doesn’t but we’ve got to go with the flow,” says Adam. “We’re going to do our best to help you find what you’re looking for. Customers are asked to call the store with their credit card details and the store will set up a time slot for curbside pickup. JD adam will also deliver locally for a $10 fee or farther on orders over $75.
Once you’ve supported these businesses, take it a step further to help them out. Leave a positive review on Google, post photos of your products and be sure to tag the businesses online so even more people will see your story and the likely top-notch service you received. And tell your friends about that awesome find you scored at Bad Dog Co. or that cool new Skateboard from Top of the World or your new epic sound system from Audio Shop. Word of mouth is sometimes the strongest factor when people are making purchases, so if you love the Glebe, tell the world just how much.
A little bit goes a long way in the Glebe. So support your local merchants because you can. Buy local, shop local, save local.