December is an important month for business owners – for many it is the busiest time of the year. We all know this year is different. While the latest provincial health restrictions are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19, they are having a major impact on many local businesses.
The City of Calgary’s Business Sector Task Force works directly with the business community to act as a conduit, sharing their immediate needs and finding solutions.
“It was not easy for most businesses this year. Many have been hit very hard by the pandemic; every permanent closure is a blow to our community and economy. We work hard behind the scenes to support businesses in Calgary,” says Sonya Sharp, Leader of Business and Local Economy at The City.
“It is important to hear from the businesses themselves about what will help. That’s why, as part of our Support Local campaign, we’re sharing videos from the community about the ways Calgarians can help businesses survive the impact of these restrictions in a safe way.”
Here’s what three members of the task force say Calgarians can do to support them and stay safe.
Lourdes Juan, local spa owner
“There are now so many ways you can support local business. Buy gift cards at your favorite spa or salon; I know they would love to see you in the new year. Leave a positive review online for your favorite business. It only takes two minutes and costs absolutely nothing. Order takeout and pickup at your favorite local restaurant. Wear a mask, wave to friends and business owners. Keep your distance and stay safe.”
Chad McCormick, local restaurant and bar owner
“We are very grateful to have such wonderful customers who continue to support our businesses locally here in Calgary. Many of you keep asking: ‘How can we support more? How can we be more involved?’ The easiest way is to pick up a phone and call the store or place or restaurant, pick up curbside or go into the store to pick it up. You can also have some of your third-party programs delivered to your home. And all we ask in it is to remember to be kind and leave positive reviews when you can. We work very hard in all these different businesses to keep people employed through all these times. Buying gift cards is another way. You can put them in stocking stuffers or give them to friends and family. So anyway, thank you very much. We are very grateful for your support.”
Julie Van Rosendaal, local food writer
“I would encourage anyone who can afford it to spend this holiday season locally. Whether it’s ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant and picking it up if you can, or ordering online for pickup or delivery at one of our fantastic unique retailers. We have the most independent bookstores of any city in Canada, and that can really make the difference between keeping them in our communities or putting them out of business forever. So if you can, please spend locally this holiday season. And be safe.”
The City reduces barriers, time and costs to enable business owners’ success. Through the pandemic, various development and building permit fees have been waived for clients over $1.65 million.
We’re making improvements to make it easier for business owners to apply for permits and licenses online through the myBusiness virtual hub, and get the answers you need through online chat, email or phone. And we’re encouraging Calgarians to shop local to support stores and services through our #SupportLocalYYC campaign.
We offer live chat at calgary.ca/livechat, or you can contact us through the Planning Services Center at 403-268-5311, Monday to Friday 8am-4:30pm
The City of Calgary is here for our business community. It truly takes a town – we are stronger when we come together. Visit calgary.ca/mybusiness to learn more about what supports are available to you and your business.
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