About three quarters of Canadians are more than willing to support their local businesses as a result of COVID-19 with more than half shifting their spending by shopping closer to home, says a new survey released by Interac Corp. 

Shopping local isn't just lip service or a matter of convenience. In fact, close to half of Canadians (48 per cent) are willing to wait longer for delivery or pickup if they buy from a local firm. About half are willing to pay up to an additional five dollars and 31 per cent up to 10 dollars more for the same product, if needed, to support local businesses instead of purchasing from major online retailers. 

Canadians want to support small, local businesses 

"While spending is still down overall and the impact of the pandemic to small businesses is still being felt across the country, Canadians are telling us that when they do spend, they want their dollars to support small business recovery post-pandemic," said William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp. "We also know digital, contactless payments are an important driver of choice. Ensuring local businesses can serve customers safely with digital solutions will be an important part of the economic recovery when spending returns to pre-pandemic levels." 

About 66 per cent of Canadians in the survey said businesses that fail to adapt to allow for digital payments will struggle. This demand is reflected in a 333 per cent year-over-year increase in Interac debit payments made within a merchant app or website, and a 113 per cent year-over-year increase in Interac e-Transfer transactions being received by businesses across Canada since the pandemic began. The increase in business-related transactions contributed to the overall growth of the platform, where more than 832.7 million Interac e-Transfer transactions were sent since the beginning of April 2020, a 52 per cent year-over-year increase. 

"Our transaction volumes show just how many businesses are already turning to digital payments to help their consumers transact in the new normal, which is a promising trend that will contribute to a recovery when Canadians return to pre-pandemic shopping frequencies across all major types of business," Keliehor continued. He predicted that businesses that prioritize integrated payment options across a consumer's shopping journey will be better positioned in the future.