(London Drugs)

One of Canada’s largest retailers is now extending a helping hand to small businesses, creating an aisle within select stores for them to showcase their local products.

London Drugs announced on Tuesday that space will now be available on the stores shelves for businesses to highlight items they’re selling, many who have had to close their doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a really hard time for many small businesses, and we are in a unique position where we can really help out,” said London Drugs President and COO Clint Mahlman.

“As a 75-year-old Canadian owned and operated company we have always supported fellow Canadian businesses and now is the time more than ever, to come together.”

The company’s plan is to turn centre aisles in select stores into ‘Local Central,’ and small businesses across Western Canada will be invited to immediately submit products for consideration.

“Whether you sell coffee, local honey, or your restaurant’s graphic T-shirts, London Drugs is here to help,” Mahlman said.

Small business owners can apply online and must meet a handful of restrictions such as:

  • Must have a valid Canadian business license or permit.
  • Business must be based in Western Canada (B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).
  • No alcohol, cannabis or tobacco products.
  • Products must be physical items (cannot be service-based).
  • Businesses deemed essential services (e.g. grocery stores) that are operating at full capacity do not qualify.
  • Products must not require refrigeration or freezing.