Some of our most beloved local businesses, like Chainsaw (where we hosted our trivia nights) have closed their doors forever and we will miss them greatly. NICK STANLEY PHOTO

Supporting Independent Business In Waterloo Region

Below you’ll find our list of the local KW businesses that have closed their doors for good since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown. While some small businesses have had the financial strength to continue to wait out the storm, others haven’t been so lucky.

The Retail Council of Canada predicts at least 15 per cent of brick-and-mortar stores will not survive the pandemic, with large chains who have more financial security being the most likely to be left standing when the dust settles. This begs the question, what will our local KW economy look like in a year or two?

Local businesses are essential to our economy. They bring growth, innovation, provide employment and create entrepreneurship opportunities. They know their customers by name — they are our neighbours and friends. They are what make the KW community special and unique.

This is why it’s so crucial to support local businesses in any way you can. You can shape the future of our community.


Leave a positive review

If you have been to a business before and were pleased with the merchandise and service they provided, leave them a good review. This can be on Facebook or some other review site. Positive reviews boost local businesses’ overall ratings and help them survive.

Share, like, comment and interact with posts from local business owners

Almost every business has a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or some other type of social media account right now. You can help those businesses flourish by sharing their posts or telling your friends about their merchandise or goods they sell.

Use delivery and/or pickup

Many local businesses are providing delivery or curbside pickup options for shoppers to keep their distance. Choose direct delivery (which can often be found on businesses’ websites) whenever possible for the food industry, since services like UberEats and Skip the Dishes charge restaurants between 16 and 30 per cent of each sale. Ordering take-out food can help restaurant owners continue to employ their staff and stay afloat.

Tell a friend

If you have a few dollars to spare, invite your roommate to a local coffee shop or patio. Introducing your friends to a local business, while also having an opportunity to catch up on what’s been going
on in everyone’s lives is a win/win. Make sure to follow proper physical distancing protocols and wear a mask if you’re going to do this one. Or even safer, order online and have a virtual hangout with distanced friends.

Buy gift cards and shop online

Purchasing a gift card from your favourite local shops, breweries, cafes and more, will provide
positive cash flow that they can use to support themselves while their doors are shut or business has severely slowed down. Many KW businesses have online shopping or eCommerce options. Don’t forget about artists and musicians who also need our support — buy their art or attend a virtual event.


These are some of the businesses in Waterloo Region that have closed since March 2020:

Food/Beverage Industry
  • Blackwing Coffee Bar
  • City Cafe (on Lancaster)
  • Crossroads Family Restaurant
  • Death Valley’s Little Brother
  • East Side Mario’s (on University)
  • Gilt
  • Grand River Brewing
  • Joey’s Restaurants
  • Matter of Taste (Waterloo)
  • Monigram Midtown
  • Nando’s (on Fairway Rd)
  • Special Delivery Shop
  • Symposium Cafe
  • Holy Guacamole (DTK)
  • Timeless Cafe and Bakery
Music Venues/Bars
  • Chainsaw
  • Kick-Off Sports Bar
  • Rhapsody Barrel Bar
  • Starlight Lounge
  • A Touch of Scotland
  • Braun’s Bicycle
  • Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids
  • Love Laugh Play, Indoor Playland
  • Things Engraved
  • Victoria Convenience
  • Scholar’s Choice (all KW locations)

Have a story to tell about a small business closure? Email us at

*Businesses may have closed for a variety of different reasons, one reason possibly being the economic struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

*In our Sept. print issue and the web version published on Sept. 9, Ctrl V was listed as permanently closed at some locations. Though they were temporarily closed for 4.5 months, they re-opened all locations in mid-July.