Despite mass layoffs and more businesses closing by the day, there have been some positives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some Alberta businesses have not only been able to adapt but are seeing some success while doing so.
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in business,” said Adam Steinson, manager of the Edmonton Blush Lane Organic Market.
“Initially, it was very, very busy. We’re still seeing very strong growth year over year just for food buying across the board.”
Alberta-based Blush Lane Organic Market has been trying to keep up with demand at both its Calgary and Edmonton stores.
“We’ve definitely hired a few people. Thankfully, we’ve been able to help out some folks from the restaurant and hospitality industry that are looking for temporary work while they’re out of work for the time being, so we’ve definitely been able to hire staff in this scenario,” Steinson explained.
They are not the only ones experiencing a steady flow of business.
Gourmet ice cream shop Made by Marcus has its doors closed but is offering curbside pickup. The demand has been so great that it is barely able to keep up with orders at its Edmonton and Calgary locations.
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“The change has been really interesting for us but really successful for us,” said Cat Los, manager of the Made by Marcus Hillhurst Calgary store.
“We are selling out really quickly right now; the timing and the orders have been a huge learning curve for us but right now, it’s working well.”
Cherie Klassen, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association, said that it is about the very spirit of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“They excel at pivoting,” Klassen said. “They look at a problem and they think, ‘How do I solve it?'”
The support helps stimulate the economy but it’s something that will need to continue in the long run, Klassen said.
“These really small kinds of mom and pop shops, they’re putting everything on the line right now, so they still need to feed their families and they still need to keep a roof over their head,” Klassen said.