3 Small Businesses Using Their Platform to Help their Communities

In these trying times, small businesses are trying to remain agile as brick and mortar locations are still closed, leaving them only with options to leverage their e-commerce platforms for sales.

It has not been unusual to see many of our favourite retailers switch their focus to the online world, but what’s been a true sign of the times is seeing the shift in ideologies and the support that each of these businesses is showing to their communities. Here are three businesses doing good by doing good.

Stock and Row 

Stock and Row is a craft cider producer currently serving the South Eastern Ontario corridor from Kingston to Toronto, created by hospitality vets Justin Dalipi and Zoe Marshall Nares in 2019, and has since become one of the go-to ciders for Toronto and Prince Edward County, being tapped in over 75 bars and restaurants. 

They may be off to a small start, but they have big plans for our future; planting a cider orchard outside of Bloomfield in The County, as well as converting the century barn on their property into a production facility and will be welcoming people next year… road trip to PEC anyone?

Since they aren’t available in the LCBO yet, the current situation forced team Stock and Row into a bit of a stand still. However, this presented an opportunity for them to give back and support the industry that have been key to their growth and success while they have time on our hands. Locals Only Toronto was the first restaurant to offer Stock and Row and many of their regulars are individuals in the industry so they were also looking for a way to give back. So Locals Only and Stock and Row have joined forces to offer free delivery of their cider in the GTA, and are donating 100% of the profits to a local bar/restaurant staff every week. 


The story goes like this: Kat & Vic grew up in Toronto, went to the same high school and then took off to university where they both graduated with degrees in chemical engineering.

It was pretty clear that they weren’t going to work in the typical engineering field when Vic started working in cosmetic product development and Kat jetted off to Versailles, France to study perfumery. They kept tabs on each other throughout their years of working for companies like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder and finally connected in 2016 with the idea to start their own thing.

A shared obsession with scent and its nostalgic powers sparked the start of their journey. From the very beginning they knew what they wanted to create. Clean, complex scents, designed to transport you to another time and place.

Thus, Lohn (pronounced like lawn) was born in 2018, when they launched with four candles, hand poured and made with clean scents, coconut and soy wax, and recyclable packaging. The name means ‘scent’ in Estonian and it also means ‘reward’ in Old High German, a name inspired by their respective Estonian and Lithuanian heritages.

In support of those in need, especially in these troubling times, Lohn wanted to do something to give back to a community in need. With every order of $39 or more, Lohn will donate $5 to Daily Bread Food Bank. So you can buy something beautiful while doing something beautiful. 

Erin Leydon Photographer 

With the inadvertent decline of day to day work for photographers and creatives alike, photographer Erin Leydon and her partner Mitch – also a photographer – found themselves itching to be creative, and brought back the fun and nostalgic activity of tie dying in an attempt to take otherwise ordinary clothes and turn them into something lively.  

After sharing some of their creations online and receiving a great response, Erin and Mitch decided to make their socks available to everyone. With each pair sold, they donate 15% of the proceeds to a local artist of your choosing, who has been affected by the results of Covid-19. The response to their socks has been so tremendous, that Erin has collaborated with designer Pepper B. to create tie-dye face masks. This collab is not only timely, but does a bit of good for those in need as well, all while looking very cute.