As the province begins to reopen, it may seem as though local businesses are getting back on their feet, but the truth is that they still need a lot of community support. It will be a slow start before our favourite establishments recover and are thriving again. Most shops and restaurants are opening at reduced capacity because of COVID-19 safety regulations and some have even had to shut down. Our neighbourhoods will need our help to recoup costs and navigate this new world. These are a few important ways that we can help make a difference to support local organizations, services, and those who need our help the most, stay strong through this difficult time in history.
1. Continue to Get Take-out and Delivery
Many restaurants are facing uncertain times and some, unfortunately, have been forced to close due to the challenges of COVID-19. A restaurant’s seating capacity is typically based on a business plan that they put in place to maximize the very limited revenues that there are in the restaurant industry. If restaurants are only operating at half capacity, they will likely still need the added revenue from take-out and delivery services to stay in business, on top of dining-in. If you can afford to eat out, try getting take-out one a week as well to help support your favourite neighbourhood food spots from shutting down.
2. Shop Local
Now that many local boutiques are reopening with cautionary measures, it gives us a chance to support our neighbourhood shops again. If you’ve been ordering from Amazon or other big-box retailers such as Walmart during the quarantine, consider how this affects small businesses in the area. Small shops typically rely heavily on foot traffic. With fewer people walking the streets and fewer people allowed in stores, it makes things more difficult for smaller businesses. So, we will want to be more intentional about how and where we shop to help our neighbours and take advantage of those businesses being there to help you out around the corner! If you need a new pair of shoes or a gift for a birthday, for example, get creative and think about what you can get locally. Gift cards are also a great way to help out local businesses. Just a reminder – wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer to help stay safe when shopping in public!
3. Enjoy Services Safely
If you’ve been waiting for all quarantine to be able to speak with your insurance agent again or book other services such as hairdressers, dental or physio, now is the time to do it! Certain sectors have reopened in your community to offer you services safely. Businesses have put safety measures in place to ensure that you feel safe such as plexiglass, disinfection, hand sanitizer stations, masks and more. Local businesses in your community are doing the best they can to reopen safely, so let’s show them some love and support!
4. Consider Volunteer or Remote Work
Do you have technical/computer skills that could help a business transition from an office or brick & mortar environment to an online structure? If your day job has slowed down or you were laid off during the COVID pandemic, consider browsing the local community listings for volunteer or remote work. Many organizations will be restructuring and offering virtual positions! Nonprofits or charities may also be looking for an extra (virtual) hand during this time and your support could help make a big difference!
5. Lend a Helping Hand to Those Most Vulnerable
COVID-19 has taken a large toll on the senior community and caregivers as well. Everyday stresses can be overwhelming and many families have opted not to use hired caregivers or keep their loved ones in senior homes because the risks are too great. Between getting groceries and running errands, little time is left for many family caregivers to take care of themselves. Can you offer to drop off groceries for a senior in the community or gift someone deserving some self-care items? A little extra kindness goes a long way!
B.C.’s Safe Seniors Strong Communities program matches seniors who need support with volunteers in their community who are willing to help with things like picking up groceries and medications, securing meals or providing a friendly virtual visit. Dial 211 to sign-up and to pay it forward!
As proud members of several communities throughout British Columbia for over 45 years, Johnston Meier Insurance values the safety of our customers, community and team members. We are now open in your community for walk-ins again, as well as online and by phone. We have implemented safeguards to protect you during the COVID-19 period, find out more here.