Support Your Local Businesses During COVID-19

I've never been a big fan of Amazon. Don't get me wrong: their selection is excellent, and it's very easy to order from them. I definitely do so occasionally. But they treat their own staff badly, they treat their vendors badly, they're a breeding ground for scams and fakes because they don't try that hard to control it (fake or real, it makes them money), and they're definitely bad for local businesses who can never compete because they have a bricks-and-mortar store to pay a lease on and they don't have the scale Amazon does. But especially during COVID-19, Amazon seems ... easy. Keep in mind that you're essentially outsourcing the danger of your shopping to some unseen and underpaid Amazon employee in a warehouse. Yes, it's good they're employed, but now Amazon is scaling up and packing more and more people into those warehouses with inconsistent safety standards depending on location. Let's help them out by not giving them more business, just keep it at the same level.

I'm a good cook, which is definitely a good thing in the time of COVID-19. But after six weeks of lockdown, I'm getting tired of my own cooking. So on my weekly grocery run this morning I dropped by EATBKK and picked up Green Curry with Chicken - the first time I've had restaurant food since March 13 (a trip to Kinton with a friend, knowing it was likely my last social lunch for a very, very long time). "Eat in Bangkok" or EATBKK as they like to stylize it, provides some of the best Thai food in the city of Toronto. If you want your favourite local restaurants to still be there when we emerge from "social distancing," do what you can to help them out.

If you don't want to go out shopping yourself, call your local grocery store if they don't appear online. Maybe they deliver: some friends of mine downtown have had very good luck with this. A lot of places deliver, quite likely many who never delivered before have started. Not only is there high demand, it's probably better for the store because it means they don't have to see you, just drop something at your front door and ring the bell. Great Lakes Brewery delivers free - next day delivery no less - on any order over $50. I've taken advantage of that and let me tell you, their "Beard of Zeus" barley wine is outstanding. A lot of the small breweries deliver around the Toronto area (I mean a lot, from what I've seen it looks like nearly half of them - delivery areas vary wildly, check carefully). I hear Canadian Tire is fast, and in some departments has stock as good as Amazon. Point is, many, many local businesses deliver.

Keep your local businesses alive, while adding variety to your life. Stay safe out there.