The Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) had a virtual meeting today to talk about how they could come together to get through the Covid-19 crisis. Chaired by Adam Bureau, the meeting with as many as 33 participants lasted 75 minutes and covered a range of topics. Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf reported that one officer was isolated at the Breakers – perhaps that was what prompted the move to get the isolation trailers setup (see article – link below). He also said that Police were patrolling downtown at night and noted that there had not been any increase in downtown break-ins. Adam said that some stores were open for business – one example was Theresa Rickerby’s stores accepting phone, email, Facebook and Instagram orders. She employs 3 drivers for deliveries.
Steve Wilkes was on the call and pointed to his Durham based business “Better Go Getter” which offers a delivery service. But without knowing costs, store owners seemed wary since hiring drivers directly means lower cost which is important since many are offering free local delivery. But this discussion pointed to the idea that a service could be setup to do deliveries for all downtown stores. Similarly, a single web site could provide an online service to anyone who does not have their own e-commerce site (e.g. by Shopify).
It was emphasized that it is now especially important to support local vendors – if you cannot buy from them now, you can perhaps buy a gift card through the “Gift Card Portal” which has been setup on the DBIA web site here. So far, $7,000 worth of gift cards have been purchased.
There was one suggestion that I particularly liked: Cindy Berman suggested that all stores place a sign in their window that lets the public know what they are doing – are they open for online or phone orders and if so, how can they be reached. They seem to be currently relying on Facebook and other social media to get the word out but that misses a good chunk of the population.
The DBIA is helping members work together to get through the crisis. Member meetings are usually held annually but for the next while, they will be bi-weekly.
- Trailer Park used for Isolation Centre
- Cobourg Covid-19 News page with Info on stores that are open and closed
- Take Out Guide on Radio Station web site