As Canadians heading into uncharted territory named Covid19, most if not all our daily life routines are affected. Due to its contagious nature, the new coronavirus makes life infinitely complicated for everybody. For small businesses, in order to ensure the safety and well being of both customers and employees drastic steps would have to be taken. To some that would mean more frequent cleaning, to others slashing hours, laying off staff due to lower volume of customers, some even have to temporarily close down operations. As the number of cases grows across the country, businesses are forced into the new reality where government directives and protocols change rapidly as new information on viruses and prevention becomes available. For a small number of businesses, their option has been to move part or all of their operations online. But for the majority of business, what they have in common is uncertainty; would it make sense to tough it out, reducing hours or laying off, part-timers or full-timers, where is the much-needed cash when customers have been drastically reduced, when will things be back to normal, if at all.
Small local businesses need your help now more than ever, there are numerous ways you as a customer can help them weather out this difficult time ahead:
Purchase a gift certificate/card, many small businesses offer gift certificates at various discounted rates for future bookings. It might be worth it to call and ask them or visit their website/social media page.
Reschedule business if possible instead of outright cancelling, give them your business one way or another, be creative in resolve problems.
Shop online locally, maybe the physical shop is closed but they still have inventory and if they have an online shop, they are probably can still meet your needs. Check their social media or website
Get take out or delivery, this is restaurant-specific because of social distancing and various protocols implementation, many restaurants offer take out instead of dine-in experiences, and take out menu may be different from the regular menu. You might need to call ahead to inquire.
Above all, bring attention to the businesses themselves; perhaps other people might not be aware of their new operational situation. You could help spread the words about whether they are temporary closing or just reducing their hours, their online store, their services offering, or their present, perhaps not a lot of people know about that tucked away shop you found.