Miche and Dan Warwick of Happy Hills Farm have just become a bit happier, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the FedEx #SupportSmall grant initiative. The program has awarded $5,000 to each of 30 small businesses across Canada that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a wide variety of sectors. Here in Rossland, local agriculture and food security just received a bit of a hand up.
With the cancellation of the Rossland Mountain Market this summer (for a variety of causes, the pandemic being one), Happy Hills Farm had to adjust their marketing method. They have set up their own on-farm “store” at 2302 Happy Valley Road, now open on Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Those hours are scheduled until the end of October.
Happy Hills Farm products are grown without chemical assistance, using organic seed and feed. Check their website for more information.
About products available at their store, the Happy Hills Farm website says,
“Here you will find our curated selection of BC local farm-derived or farmcrafted products, featuring farm fresh produce from our farm and our sister business, Flourish MicroFarm. We have also partnered with other farms and small businesses to bring you a well-rounded offering of produce, fruit, eggs, body care + wellness products, and garden supply items, with new products being added regularly!”
They accept payment by Square (credit or debit) or e-transfer.
As for delivery of products, they explain that their former delivery service is suspended – but, if people need delivery because they are isolating or are otherwise unable to visit the store, Miche and Dan encourage them to get in touch and they will do their best to accommodate special needs.
The press release from FedEx said,
With the retail landscape in Canada changing across all industries – and businesses of all shapes and sizes forced to adapt and pivot – the program awarded grants to companies across the country in a variety of sectors including hospitality, food and beverage, beauty and health care, entertainment, manufacturing, education, sports, fitness, recreation and artisanal crafts.
"Over the last four months, we've seen the habits of Canadians and consumers more broadly shift and evolve. To keep up with the rapidly changing situation, small business owners across Canada have had to digitize overnight – building new and expanding existing e-commerce platforms in order to both survive and also satisfy evolving consumer shopping preferences," said Lisa Lisson, President, FedEx Express Canada. "We're seeing wedding rental shops shift to selling socially distant celebration supplies online, local restaurants setting up their first delivery landing page, and furniture artisans selling their pieces internationally to increase revenue."
Of the 30 winners – 15 small businesses are based in Ontario, six in British Columbia, four from Alberta, three in Quebec, and two from New Brunswick – from metropolitan hubs to rural regions across the country.
The full list of #SupportSmall grant recipients included:
- Two Hoots Gift Gallery
- Forbidden Spirits Distilling Co.
- Happy Hills Farm
- Kosan Travel Company Ltd.
- Autonomous Furniture
- Airdrie Furniture Revival
- Neveen Dominic Cosmetics
- Floc Boutique
- STEM Minds Corp
- Steeltown Garage Co.
- Detour Coffee
- Soapstones Natural Skincare
- Two Sisters Natural
- Sugar Society
- Simply Beautiful Decor
- Canyon Entertainment Group
- Essentials by Temi
- Good Times Running Inc.
- The Fix and Co Inc.
- Unbun Foods
- Au Noir
- The Cap
- Acadian Sturgeon
The program ensured an easy and simple application process for candidates, with no restrictions for the recipients as to how they chose to allocate the funds – whether a business was looking to refresh its business model, shift to selling and shipping online, or simply needed to pay monthly expenses.
"Canada's small businesses are essential to our economic recovery and return. Their compelling business stories remind us that championing small businesses is fundamental to the Canadian economy and critical to the economic long-term health of our country. We are proud to do our part and provide some additional support to a few of the many deserving businesses across the country as part of our #SupportSmall program," said Lisson.
One of Rossland’s exceptional small businesses just got a bit of a boost. We congratulate them and hope it helps them on to greater success.
Reminder: Locally grown fresh vegetables have both a flavour and nutritional advantage over ones that have spent too much time traveling and in storage -- and supporting local business makes for a healthier local economy, too.