Backyard businesses boom as demand for summer fun close to home soars
KITCHENER -- Seasonal businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area are booming as residents gear up for another summer of COVID-19 restrictions forcing backyards into outdoor oases.
From landscaping requests to pool supplies to patio furniture, business is picking up earlier and some items are even selling out.
Local landscaping company Grand Valley Rocks has seen business spike about 30 per cent this season.
“We had to hire extra staff,” said Grand Valley Rock’s Colin Tucker. “It’s been crazy. In a good way crazy, so I am happy about that.”
The trend to upgrade backyards isn’t stopping at a new lawn or flower bed – patio furniture is flying out of stores as well.
“(There’s) a huge demand for patio furniture and we’re having to ramp up a lot sooner,” said Distinctly Patio’s Kim Jackson.
The hot ticket item? Outdoor fire tables.
“It doesn't just provide ambience but it also gives people warmth to extend their season longer,” Jackson said.
There’s also a run on pool equipment, with shortages on some key pieces of equipment.
“The only thing that we're actually having an issue with in the supply chain is actual pool equipment,” said Jessica Carron, office manager of Terry Howard Pools. “That is due to a lack of PVC parts because of that snow storm in Texas and a shut down on a lot of factories that happened last year.”
But despite reports of a looming chlorine shortage in the United States, Carron said there’s no need to panic buy and that most Canadian stores and suppliers won’t be impacted.
“Very little of that will impact us because we don’t necessarily purchase our chemical from the U.S.,” she said.
And with many in the Kitchener-Waterloo region facing another summer with travel off the table, embracing the outdoors – and maximizing that space – is becoming increasingly popular, some business owners say.
“(People) are wanting to feel more connected to the community,” Jackson said. “We're seeing now the front yard now is becoming more of an extension of the backyard.”