Shaw Business

How can enterprise businesses help SMBs right now?

Public safety will always be more important than the economy. But as we see a flattening of the curve, the peripheral impact of the pandemic will bring new challenges across every industry—and the communities they serve.

It has been estimated that 25% of Canadian small businesses will not reopen once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.1 When you consider the fact that just over $65 of every $100 spent at local businesses stays within the community,2 it becomes even more clear that we must all do our part to preserve an integral part of our society.

Here are a few ways enterprise companies can work as partners, distributors, and customers of local small businesses, and help support their communities.

Buy. From. Them.

Strive to do what you would have normally done. Get your WFH equipment from local retailers. Reward your workforce with gift certificates from your office’s favourite lunch spots. This will help keep the businesses in your community afloat, and your workforce grounded.

Align your actions with your core values.

Consider sponsoring a cause-based business that aligns with your company’s greater purpose. Environmentalism, education, accessibility—every enterprise company has a vision for the future. Help the world get there.

Time to strengthen local ties.

It’s more important than ever for large manufactures to partner with local retailers. After all, nobody understands the needs of communities better than the people living in them. Big retailers could also help out by reserving shelf space for local small businesses to sell their products.

Whenever possible, keep your contracts.

Losing one corporate customer will result in a bigger blow to a small business's health than the loss of a single retail consumer. You may not need the same custodial services now that your employees are working from home, but the premises will need to be maintained to some degree. Pivot with your contractor. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

Shop local.

The average multinational obtains around 25% of their resources from local small businesses. There are dollars to be saved by sourcing overseas, but looking at what’s available locally can help keep your product unique. Shopping local also has a smaller environmental impact.

Outsource responsibly.

Millions of dollars worth of contract work are outsourced to small Canadian firms every year. Looking at the talent that’s available locally helps SMBs generate new jobs—which is how they manage to employ over half of Canada’s working population.

We’re committed to supporting businesses across Canada as they adapt to the digital landscape. Follow our social accounts for more information on our initiatives, and don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you good business and good health.


1 According to a survey of 10,500 small business owners by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

2 Compiled results from nine studies by Civic Economics, 2012: www.civiceconomics.com