Advertisement

Regina small businesses offer ways to support local during the COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Regina small businesses offer ways to support local during the COVID-19 pandemic' Regina small businesses offer ways to support local during the COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: Local businesses in Regina are adapting to changes during the COVID-19 pandemic – Mar 31, 2020

Along Regina’s 13th Avenue, local businesses have posted signs telling customers how to access their services  — from online ordering to doorstep delivery to curbside pickup.

“It’s about staying viable,” said Todd Murray, an owner of Cathedral Pet Shop.

“We forced ourselves to close,” he said. ” No one could come in and have a look and that made some serious challenges.”

The brightly-painted building at 2924 13th Ave., normally open to humans and pets, has been closed to the public for 10 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Tips to support small business during the coronavirus crisis

The neighbourhood association is promoting a list of its area businesses to drum up support, and Cathedral Pet Shop is included.

Story continues below advertisement

Murray said all shipments to the store are bleached and sanitized upon arrival, and again before delivery to customers. Transactions take place over the phone or online via a new website, which he spent days setting up.

“There’s an opportunity there to support those businesses that are really suffering right now because there’s no customers.”

A few blocks away, Tammy Chammartin is adjusting to the quiet in her book shop, Aware House Books.

“The heart of our store is that all are welcome,” she said. “This is where people come to connect when they’re stressed and just need someone to talk to.”

In May, Chammartin and her daughter will celebrate three years as co-owners of Aware House Books, which has been in Regina since 1970.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Saskatoon businesses being hit hard amid COVID-19 pandemic

The store, which offers resources on spiritual paths and enlightenment, recently reduced its hours.  The owners have just added online ordering — part of their five-year plan, but expedited by the pandemic.

“We certainly don’t have all of our inventory online, but we have a good maybe 30 to 40 per cent up right now and it’s helping,” Chammartin said.

Chamber of Commerce lists way to help

On Monday, the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce posted an online list of ways people can support a variety of local businesses throughout the city.

“For food, there’s always the take-out option in terms of either picking it up or getting it delivered,” said John Hopkins, the chamber’s CEO.

For other businesses, buying gift cards or scheduling future services can also be supportive.

READ MORE: Tips to support small business during the coronavirus crisis

In cases where monthly memberships are vital, such as fitness facilities, Hopkins urges those who can to continue paying.

Story continues below advertisement

“There’s an opportunity there to support those businesses that are really suffering right now because there are no customers,” he said.

The chamber also suggested, where possible, for people to “tip like a big shooter” and to avoid refunds.

“If you can afford it, it could mean a lot to the business in terms of forgoing that refund, or waiting for some event to be postponed and you may be able to get to that event at a different time,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins also emphasized that local ownership pertains to one-of-a-kind businesses, and many franchisees.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

Story continues below advertisement

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

Sponsored content