Actualités By Adam Kovac 180 Views

Christmas markets go online as Quebec's small businesses encourage buying local

MONTREAL -- With Christmas shopping season complicated by the pandemic this year, Montreal business owners are reminding those tempted to shop online that it's still possible to buy local.

While some Christmas markets have been closed by the pandemic, some, such as Puces Pop and Spruce and Spice Artisans Market are turning to the Internet to offer Montrealers a chance to support local businesses.

“It supports the local community and allows money to circulate within the local community,” said Spruce and Spice's Tricia Robinson. “That just makes it stronger and more robust.”

Ceramics artist Kelly Bernard acknowledged that the loss of traditional Christmas markets has her worried for the future.

“Almost everybody that I know that has a small business is struggling a lot,” she said. “These markets were huge and people always go to them. That was where a lot of our money would come in.”

Online retail giant Amazon has reported a 37 per cent boost to revenue this quarter, with a $96 billion net income. On the flip side, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses claims one in seven small retailers are at risk of permanently closing.

“In 2020, it's crucial and has never been more important to choose independent stores, to choose local when we're going to buy our gifts for this holiday season,” said federation spokesperson Francois Vincent.

Lola Herba owner Laura-Anne Montpetit said every purchase from a local business can help.

“Whenever I get an order, I have this moment where I'm basically tearing up,” she said. “It's like you're buying much more than just the product. By supporting local, you're really spreading that love.”