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To help local business this holiday - call them: business professor

Local stores should consider selling products online to help them survive
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Photo: Christmas lights/Shutterstock

It’s a conflicting message.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Nova Scotia, many people will be spending more time inside during the coming weeks.

But the holiday season is just around the corner, and local businesses are also suffering right now.

So for people looking to stay inside, but still shop local, it’s as easy as picking up the phone and making a call.

That’s according to Halifax business professor Ed McHugh, who says online retail just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and local businesses should be getting into e-commerce.

McHugh tells The Sheldon MacLeod Show, local businesses will need to adjust quickly to make online shopping happen.

“Energize your phone lines somehow, or get online, or get your website some e-commerce capabilities,” he says.

As for shoppers who might be hesitant to go out but still want to support local, McHugh says people should consider the local businesses they want to support, then give them a call and try to work something out.

McHugh says, given the current climate, local retailers will likely be more than willing to make some sort of purchasing arrangement.

“Pick up the phone and call them, and find out how you can support them in some way, and I’m sure they’ll find a way.”

However McHugh does caution small businesses that there is a lot of online competition out there, and one key will be finding a way to stand out from the crowd. 

"(Online Shopping) is only going to get bigger. This COVID might be a way to push some retailers toward doing that.”

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