Lethbridge businesses remain strong despite COVID-19

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Lethbridge businesses remain strong despite COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Lethbridge businesses tell Global News they're still seeing regular customers come in. But just like everyone else, they're waiting to see how the virus will play out in the coming weeks.Taz Dhaliwal reports. – Mar 13, 2020

Lethbridge businesses say they’re not noticing much of a slowdown as a result of COVID-19.

“Business so far this week as been fairly normal. The weather has been more dependent in the last two days I think… and why it’s been a little slower,” said Jake Ramsdell, the owner of the Penny Coffee House.

“We have seen customers be a little more cautious and wash their hands a little bit more,’ he said.

It just so happens Jake Ramsdell’s brother owns a pharmacy just down the street.

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“It’s been kind of interesting, just with the shortages in hand sanitizer, we’ve had lots of people calling in asking if we have hand sanitizer available,” said Logan Ramsdell, the owner of Pharmasave Draffins.

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“We actually sold out yesterday, so there is a shortage in the province, but we have seen an uptick in certain places,” he added.

Downtown Lethbridge BRZ Chair, Hunter Heggie, who also owns King of Trade, says he’s still seeing a regular flow of customers.

“We’ve been here a long time and we plan on being here a long time, so we can handle a bit of downtime,” Heggie said.

“Our city’s downtown core is not going anywhere. It’s still going to be here and we’re all going to be here at the end of it. We’ll fight through this.”

Heggie says the key to maintaining economic stability is to not panic in the moment and to carry on — business as usual.

Although that cannot be done in every case, one larger business having to pull back is Exhibition Park.

“In response to the province’s recommendation of cancelling any events over 250 people province wide, we are, in fact, as of announced yesterday, postponing this year’s home and garden show with our partners BILD Lethbridge and region,” said Mike Warkentin, the chief operating officer at Exhibition Park.

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When it comes to events further down the road, like Whoop-Up Days in August, the park can’t say right now whether those will proceed.

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