This past year has been a challenge for businesses that have been forced to close during the lockdowns. We feel it’s important to highlight some of the local businesses who continue to work hard for us, despite the necessary restrictions during this stay-at-home order. This week, we had a chat with Kristen, owner of Mint Hair Studio in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood.

For many people who are also struggling financially, the idea of supporting other businesses might seem impossible, but as Kristen points out, it’s not all about the money:

“It’s so important right now to support your local shops in any way you can! It’s not feasible for everyone to spend money and that’s ok, times are tough. Supporting local doesn’t have to be monetary. You can write a great review about your favourite spots or engage with them on social media! A like or a share goes a long way and it is so appreciated by all us little guys that are struggling right now!”

However, for those who want to support financially, reach out to the business (think restaurants, hair salons, beauty parlours, tattoo parlours, dog groomers, etc.). The staff will be happy to receive your call or email, and they will gladly hook you up with gift cards, products, etc. You need shampoo? Call up your regular salon (or Kristen) and buy from them instead of your local grocery store or online store: “During closures we try to sell product to manage some of the loss and move product that would otherwise expire.”

The other important thing to remember, is that anyone working in the service industry is exhausted. They are doing the best they can to work within the restrictions the government has put in place. This means, when things open up again, it’s chaotic. As Kristen says: “It’s so hard in service-based industries because we go from 0 to 100 in a matter of days… haven’t worked in months and then we have to get everything prepped and organized to reopen and work as much as humanly possible to keep up with demand and try to recoup some of the losses from the months we were closed. Not an ideal situation but hopefully this is the last closure and the new normal is manageable and consistent!”

This pandemic will end, and we want to make sure that the local businesses that make our community a home will still be around at the end of it. What can you do to help? Contact the shops, ask them directly. Most importantly, buy local when you can. So many local businesses offer free delivery right now too!

Lastly, realtors have been allowed to work throughout the pandemic, so it has been important for us to find ways to support those who had to close their doors. This is why, we contacted Kristen at Mint and bought a whole bunch of goodies to giveaway this Mother’s Day!

Want to buy some of Mint’s awesome eco-friendly, PETA approved, 100% recycled ocean products? Reach out on Instagram @minthair.ottawa!

Contact Mint: 1071 Wellington St. W / 613-695-3133 /