Summer is here and we’re eager to return to the lifestyles many of us took for granted in our pre-COVID years. With that being said, the lessons we’ve learned over the past two years aren’t soon to be forgotten, and unfortunately, the impacts of the pandemic aren’t quite over.
Empty store shelves and shuttered storefronts brought collective attention to the problems facing the global supply chain and made it clearer than ever that buying local is essential to helping our national businesses grow and prosper. Today, prioritizing Canadian goods continues to aid the recovery of our businesses, while providing the added benefit of strengthening our economy.
Simply put, more money spent on Canadian goods translates to more money that’s re-spent within our communities. But it doesn’t stop there. When our businesses thrive, it opens the door for more employment opportunities and retention. Plus, the decrease in carbon emissions from less fuel spent on transport is always welcome.
How You Can Buy Canadian Goods
We know that supporting local businesses is vital to helping them recover while strengthening our economy, but how do we ensure we’re buying Canadian products?
For one, you can keep an eye out for phrases like these on labels:
Assembled in Canada
Product of Canada
Made in Canada
And although not all Canadian companies advertise themselves as such, Canada’s Business Registries—an online resource that allows shoppers to access information about businesses within Canada—can be a helpful resource.
At Venturepark, we’re proud to work alongside Canadian businesses whose products you can access online and in-store.
Here are just a few that we frequently shop with:
Love Good Fats: Ranked as Canada’s fastest-growing company in the 2021 Report on Business, Love Good Fats was founded by Suzie York after she discovered the power of healthy fats. Offering a line of 12 keto-friendly bars that champion good fats, high fibre, and low sugar, they’re available at major Canadian grocery and health food stores, and ship across the country.
All Clean Natural: Founded by Daniel Boria, this home and body company is committed to providing Canadians with sustainable disinfecting products that they can rely on. Its products are available online for individual and wholesale purchases and can also be found in major retailers across Canada.
Cook It: Founded by three friends—Judith, Patrick, and Thomas —Cook It offers 17 ready-to-cook recipes every week, along with an array of ready-to-eat meals for those extra-busy days. It’s available to Ontario, Quebec, and Maritimes residents. Just subscribe, create your meal kit, and enjoy chef-created meals right at home.
Bow Valley BBQ: Jamie Ayles and Chris Dean combined their culinary backgrounds to start this condiment brand that’s known for its exceptional flavours. You can find them online or in a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, and other outlets.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters: Founded in 1993, this proudly Canadian coffee company has stunning locations throughout Ontario and offers its delicious coffee products online and in stores across the country. Plus, they now offer a custom subscription program, so you never have to miss your morning cup.
What We’re Doing to Support Canadian Businesses
Here at Venturepark, we’re honoured to uplift Canadian businesses in CPG and wellness that are making it easier for Canadians to access domestic products and services that help them to live well.
Together, Venturepark Labs, a non-profit innovation hub, and District Ventures Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in innovative companies, have supported more than 200 businesses—which as of 2021, have a total economic output of $1.6 billion.
Aimed at helping early-stage entrepreneurs, the Venturepark Labs’ Accelerator Program provides support on strategy, forecasting, sales, marketing, and supply chains. Labs also offers an industrial kitchen space for food start-ups, where they can test their products before taking them to market, and scale production once they’re ready to be sold.
Beginning with seven companies in 2017, District Ventures Capital has now invested in 38 companies—nearly 50 percent of which are women-founded. Of the 38, 21 are also alumni of Venturepark Labs’ Accelerator Program.
Today, Accelerator alumni products can be found in more than 30,000 shops and outlets across North America, generating more than $180 million in annual revenue.
Want to learn more about these businesses? You can access our full Economic Impact Report now.
Preparing for Unpredictability
As we celebrate the strides we’ve taken since 2020, we also want to ensure we’re well equipped to tackle what’s next. While the debate over whether or not Canada will face a recession continues, we know that small businesses are relying on our support as they bounce back, and that spending money in our communities provides them with more room for growth.
The next time you shop, consider giving your support to the businesses that are strengthening our economy, bringing more jobs to Canadians, and decreasing our carbon emissions.