Snow sparks support for local businesses

Anna Murphy

The city of St. John’s has seen over a dozen storm closure days in 2020, but local businesses are feeling an increase in support.

Despite the countless snow-related closures, locals can support small businesses through social media and online outlets.

Businesses in Posie Row Co. saw an increase in January traffic after the storm. Anna Murphy/ Kicker.
Businesses at Posie Row Co. saw an increase in January traffic after the Snowmageddon 2020 storm. The blizzard led to a state of emergency in St. John’s, which disrupted local businesses for more than a full week. Anna Murphy/ Kicker.

Molly Graham runs the Top Floor Art Store in Posie Row and Co. on Duckworth Street in St. John’s. Her shop sells art supplies and locally produced artwork.

She does not have an online shop for her business but shares her products online. After the state of emergency closure, new customers visited her store for the first time.

“One thing a lot of people did was they came down and supported us as local businesses, which is really nice,” Graham said. “I found I actually got to talk to more people about it as well in the shop that day. It was really supportive.”

In addition, Graham is an illustrator. She uses her e-commerce site and social media to sell her work while also selling to shops across Canada.

Also, customers from away were actively buying from Newfoundland small businesses to help with the lengthy business closures.

“I use Instagram as a business and I was posting sales and online stuff,” said Graham. “I got a lot of orders that week because people were itching to get out of the house. An alternative now is online shopping. It was really great.”

Besides shopping online, the community has flooded to the St. John’s Farmers Market after storm-closure days.

Tiffany Elton’s company Dear Dawcy sells handmade jewelry and botanical bath products. Her primary sales platform is through local markets, as well as online.

Elton too felt the support during the snow days, especially during the so-called Snowmageddon 2020 blizzard that led to a state of emergency in St. John’s for more than a week.

“I know I felt the support,” Elton said. “My morale was down during it because you don’t know what’s going to happen and you’re losing sales. But I feel the first day back morale definitely increased.”

Elton often hears that people feel they can’t always afford to support local businesses. She feels there is an answer.

“You don’t have to support local with money. If you don’t have the budget that’s fine. But you can really support them through likes and shares on social media because that will get them to the people that can spend money on local.”

Sharing on social media and visiting local businesses helps ease loss in sales from the numerous storm days so far this year.

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