The last 5 months have been incredibly challenging, and this is particularly true for many small businesses. However, like all challenges, this one has forced many to dig deep and find an opportunity to serve their customers in new and innovative ways. We’ve compiled a list of small businesses that have inspired us through their ingenuity and tenacity and we hope that maybe they inspire you as well!
- Kendall Hills Farms– We believe it’s particularly important to support buying local during this difficult time, and a farmer’s market is a terrific way to do that. But of course, for many living in the city, this has been quite a challenge when it comes to buying local food, especially produce. Introducing virtualfarmersmarket.ca, which enables customers to shop at a farmer’s market without leaving their home office. Locally sourced, no-contact deliveries and curb-side pickup, and new, fresh options every week…we cannot recommend this enough! The farmer’s market supplies much of southern Ontario, but be sure to check that they deliver to your area!
- Rebalance Sports Medicine Physiotherapy & Chiropractic- With 2 locations in downtown Toronto, Rebalance is a highly regarded sports medicine clinic. Unfortunately, the province-wide shutdown forced the clinic to temporarily close its doors. However, the clinic managed to continue offering its services to patients by using a fully secure virtual platform (think Zoom for healthcare). Rebalance is not the only clinic to offer virtual services, and we recommend you seek out a clinic that meets your personal needs, but the highly touted clinic seemed to maintain its 5-star service throughout the shutdown. Now that they are allowed to open again, both locations are offering in-person visits, but continue to offer virtual appointments to those who’d prefer to see a clinician from the safety of their own home. To learn more, visit https://rebalancetoronto.com/
- Alo– Arguably Canada’s top restaurant, Alo was forced to close their doors due to the pandemic and resulting shutdown in Toronto. However, the restaurant launched a multi-course tasting menu for pick-up so that diners may continue to indulge in fine dining from the comfort of their own home. For those wondering, while it’s not cheap, the price is more than reasonable considering the restaurant was named the #90 best restaurant in the whole world last year! To learn more about Alo and their ‘Alo at Home’ service, visit https://www.exploretock.com/alorestaurant/.
- Toronto Neighbourhood Walks- A truly uplifting story, a 19 year old Torontonian, Jayden Daniels wanted to learn more about the city while he was out walking various neighbourhoods in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. He had taken to the internet to learn more about Toronto’s neighbourhoods and saw an opportunity to help the many people who were now exploring the city in an attempt to get some fresh air and some exercise during the difficult time. An impressive young man, Jayden Daniels made the app free to download so that everyone may enjoy it, but has encouraged users to donate to the North York Food Bank instead. To download the app, simply go to the app store on your phone and type in ‘Toronto Neighbourhood Walks’.
- Peace Collective- The online brand that became famous for their ‘Toronto vs. Everybody’ sweatshirts has seen continued success by introducing masks during the pandemic. They actually started producing masks due to requests from customers. While their typical apparel business was certainly hurt during Toronto’s lockdown, mask production allowed them to continue employing their seamstresses and keep the brand strong during a difficult time. As part of their push, they are currently advertising that they donate three meals to a Canadian food bank for every garment purchased during COVID-19. To learn more about Peace Collective, visit https://www.peace-collective.com/
We continue to see examples from around the world of how creative, innovative and most importantly, resilient small businesses can be. Using the power of digital, small business owners have managed to expand their reach, pivot their business, or reinforce their mission, and we at Ablii couldn’t be more impressed! As an online payment platform for small businesses, Ablii has always harnessed the power of digital, but it is now more important than ever that we share stories of how small businesses have adapted and sought opportunities from within such a unique challenge. Do you have any inspiring stories of how a small business you know has adapted to this difficult time? Please feel free to share it with us!