Manitobans — BOTH consumers and business owners — need to focus right now on pushing the boundaries of creativity without skirting Code Red in-person restrictions.

“We all need to be using our ingenuity right now to make an effort that will have direct and important impact,” says Chuck Davidson. “And although the process to buy locally from a business that’s closed to public visitors may be a little less convenient than some fully-developed fulfillment operations, it’s worth the investment. Many of our small businesses — particularly in the tourism, independent retail, and hospitality sectors — are hanging on by a thread.”

Non-essential business closure does NOT mean you can’t safely purchase goods, even non-essential goods. Consumers and business owners simply have to be open to doing some things differently:

1) Email, call, or message a closed business on social media if it doesn’t appear to have e-commerce capabilities. You may very well be able to purchase over the phone by credit card.

2) Order takeout from a local restaurant as a treat (some of which are also offering groceries), or consider sending a special meal to a loved one, teacher, health care worker or friend who could use a boost.

3) Purchase items for safe curbside pick up from a local retailer or request delivery if available. Consider a bulk order — text or call all your family and friends to see if you can get together to place a large order with a local grocer, jewelry maker, honey producer, butcher, etc.

4) If you can’t afford to spend right now, write a positive review for a favourite retailer, or showcase on social media an unique Manitoba-made item you purchased in the past.

5) Buying holiday gifts? Purchase online from independent boutiques and local artisans (who often make original, one-of-a-kind creations), or if you’re able, think about loading up on gift cards for 2021 celebrations to use down the line. Follow on social media #Shoplocal #buylocal #ShopLocalMB #saveMBrestaurants

Click here to see some of the brand new Manitoba operations borne of the pandemic to promote local and support local infrastructure.