Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19.
Many have been asked to close their doors temporarily, in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Others may be open, but have been forced to lay off staff, cut their operating hours and reduce the goods and services they offer, as they try to stay afloat in the face of greatly reduced sales.
Here are four ways you can help your community weather this unprecedented economic storm:
- Buy local – it’s more important than ever to support local businesses, rather than ordering from online retailers such as Amazon.
- Buy gift certificates now, to use later – provide local businesses with the cash flow they need today by purchasing a gift certificate to use when life gets back to normal. Go to the sunshinecoastgiftcards website to purchase gift certificates from a full range of Sunshine Coast shops and eateries. (Local business owners can sign up at the site to be included in the listings, too.)
- Dine-out at home – many restaurants are closed for dine-in meals, but still offering delivery and takeout services. Consider having meals delivered once or twice a week, if you can afford it. (To see who is open, follow link to Coastal TakeOut, below).
- Leave a great review – third party reviews have a strong influence when people are trying to decide where to spend their money. If you’ve had a good experience, spread the word.
Who’s Open for Business?
The Gibsons & District Chamber of Commerce has assembled a list of local businesses in operation during COVID-19 here.
The Sunshine Coast Community Task Force has also created a list of businesses that are open, either for in-store purchases or deliveries.
For a change from your regular meals and fewer dishes to clean up, check out the excellent website Coastal TakeOut.
SC Food Service Response is working with restaurants to create frozen meals that are sold through retailers (e.g. IGA Gibsons). For every four meals sold, one is donated to the food bank.
Buy from Sechelt Farmers’ Market Vendors – Online!
BC Farmers’ Markets Online is a new e-commerce initiative launched by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and member markets in response to COVID-19. This online e-commerce platform enables farmers’ market vendors to sell their products through their new farmers’ market online store, in addition to their modified physical market locations on the ground. To find a farmers market near you, please visit BC Farmers’ Market Trail. To order locally produced goods online from nearly 20 Sechelt Farmers’ Market vendors, please click here.