Quinte West local businesses and residents are encouraged to take part in Canada United, a weekend-long movement from August 28-30
Canada United is a nationwide initiative created in collaboration by RBC and Canada United partners.
Customers who shop local this weekend will receive a contest entry to win a $10,000 shopping spree, and on August 31, participating local businesses will be eligible to apply for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
Throughout the pandemic, local businesses in Quinte West have continued to face unexpected challenges.
“Even though we are starting to get used to it and feels normal, it really isn't,” said Quinte West Chamber of Commerce general manager Suzanne Andrews. “And when the weather changes in October, there will be even more challenges. Either way, it's going to be a constant goal for businesses to adapt, and they are not going to be as profitable as they would be prior to COVID.”
From August 28 to 30 residents of Quinte West, and across Canada, are encouraged to shop local for their chance to win one of 25 $10,000 shopping sprees. Customers can enter the contest online each day after making a purchase at a local business.
“This weekend is really about making sure every Canadian understands how important it is to make that effort and get out there and support local businesses,” explained Andrews. “Even if businesses are open with customers, they have had to endure extra costs, their demand may not be as high as they need, revenues are still down while expenses are up, there are staff shortages and a lot of challenges to overcome.”
Following the Canada United weekend, local businesses who participated in the movement can apply for the relief grant for purchasing PPE, renovating physical space to adhere to local, provincial or federal reopening guidelines or for developing or improving e-commerce capabilities.
"It's a win-win weekend for everybody,” said Andrews.
Other than tobacco, vaping products and gas stations, most locally-owned businesses in Quinte West will be eligible to participate in the Canada United weekend.
Residents can help grow the Canada United Small Business Relief fund by spreading the word on social media. For each view or ‘like’ in connection with the Canada United program, or by tweeting #CanadaUnited on Twitter, RBC will contribute $0.05 up to a maximum contribution amount of $2 million until August 31, toward the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
The relief fund is administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the national Chamber network.
“Let's get together and support local any way we can," added Andrews. “Order that extra meal, or try to shop local instead of online this weekend.”
Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer