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Businesses better prepared to help customers shop local during restrictions: DHBC

Stores and restaurants have evolved since the spring

Local businesses will be better prepared to help people shop local during the province’s current COVID-19 restrictions.

That’s according to Paul MacKinnon, CEO of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

He says after retail stores and restaurants were forced to adapt during the lockdown in the spring, and that means altered business models will help small business owners operate during the current COVID-19 restrictions, which will last for at least 2 weeks as of Thursday morning.

For example, he says many retail shops now have some form of e-commerce on their websites, while restaurants now have systems in place, ready to serve people takeout. 

“We expect people are still going to want to enjoy nice food, maybe take-out instead of dine in. But we’re encouraging people, if you can, if you were planning to anyway, do lots of takeout and shift your shopping focus to downtown and local business,” says MacKinnon. 

And even if stores don’t have a form of e-commerce set up, MacKinnon says many businesses host their latest stock on social media, so it’s worthwhile checking through them that way, or simply picking up the phone.

“If there’s something that you’re looking for and you just want to know what we’ve got new in, pick up the phone. The nice thing is, you’re very likely to get the store owner. It’s a good way to connect and that’s one of the great joys of shopping in these smaller stores anyway,” he says.

Though just how long the new restrictions could be in place is unknown, but MacKinnon says, store owners are bracing for them lasting more than two weeks.

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