As the country begins to get back to some semblance of “normal”, the response to COVID-19 by Independent entrepreneurs across Canada is moving from a short-term response to a long-term shift in how we do business. Although the future is not yet clear, adapting and discovering new ways of doing business during these times is key to thriving beyond the pandemic.

In my experience, the resiliency and adaptability of Independent business owners is nothing less than remarkable. In the past months, I have witnessed countless examples of best practices being implemented across the country to help navigate the changing landscape.  Business owners quickly pivoting to accommodate the ever-changing conditions and coming up with creative and innovative ways to continue to service their customers, all while ensuring the safety of their employees and communities.

Coming together as a community is not a new concept to Independent entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s the foundation of their existence. This pandemic only further reinforces the culture of collaboration and community support that is the spirit of the Lumber & Building Material community. Taking care of each other has always been a priority but has now become the new normal and giving back to those who helped build their businesses and played a part in their success is part of who they are.

As we continue down this winding road and Independents are faced with their own set of rapidly changing circumstances, I know they are prepared to persevere.  Their commitment to reshaping their working models and resilient ways to make things work all while staying true to themselves and their communities is what will ready them for any subsequent storm.

Despite the uncertain and unprecedented times, ultimately, what is certain is that the spirit of Independents is constructed on its commitment to connections. The power to come together continuously and collectively within their respective communities to support each other in times of need.  That determination is the foundation for so many of these businesses and is at the very core of so many Independents.

As Canadians, now more than ever we need to support our local entrepreneurs. Our industry and segment of the economy has continued to perform relatively well. However, numerous business owners and their employees have suffered tremendous hardship. Remember, over 70% of Canadians are employed by small / medium sized business which represents approximately 40% of our countries GDP.

It’s the engine that drives our economy, provides employment in every region and is the foundation to every community across our country. Every one of us needs to step up, wherever possible, and support local businesses.

They were there for us when we needed them. They need us now more than ever!

Take pride in your community. —