“We might not be big but we’re small”
-Stuart McLean, Vinyl Cafe
It’s Small Business Week in Canada. A trademark event of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), I suspect it might be a commercial in disguise for their various financing, venture capital and consulting services.
Anything that helps bring attention to the hard-earned efforts of small, local businesses deserves, in my opinion, some recognition.
I’ve long been a supporter of independent businesses and the uniqueness they bring to a community. Largely, it’s because I love travelling and I’m not ever impressed when I visit some place new and it looks exactly like every place I’ve visited before – same clothes stores, same coffee shops, same restaurants, same supermarkets.
But there are also political and economical reasons why little independents need our support. Most obvious is the issue of where the money goes. When you buy locally, the money goes to a person that lives in your community, who will then spend it in your community, rather than to some distant mother corp to pad the pockets of the upper echelon.
But The Pear Tree is not a political blog. We try to avoid diatribes here and focus on what’s positive and beautiful in life.
So let’s talk about tomatoes fresh from the garden, an original work of art, an out-of-print book. Finding something different; something unique. A table that won’t grace every second dining room in North America.
Admittedly, there are flaws to independent shopping. The selection is often smaller, the prices higher, there’s less flexibility, and sometimes, yes, you’ll get, shall we say, less than impeccable service.
Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse but it’s never not an adventure.
While I plan to patronize a couple of my favourite small, local businesses this week, I would be remiss if I didn’t point you in the direction of my new current favourite source for small business shopping. Etsy is full of smack-you-upside-the-head awesome finds. Few will be local to you, but all are small and full of original, creative merchandise – mostly hand-made, but also vintage and supplies for making your own handmade treasures.
And to coax you over to thePearTreeShop, a super-duper, itty-bitty small business, I’m offering a coupon for 25% off any product until the end of this week (Saturday, 22 October). Just type in coupon code “small” when prompted during check-out and the discount will be applied (excluding shipping).
– Words by Lori-Anne Poirier