Kamloopsians can be justifiably proud of our local business community. Full of bright and innovative entrepreneurs, Kamloops businesspeople continue to provide a diverse and attractive range of goods and services to residents.
Covid 19 has brought unprecedented challenges to community businesses, particularly to certain businesses types. Anybody involved in tourism or relying on groups gathering together has been hit hard. A lot of newer businesses and/or businesses who were just making it work pre Covid have had quite a tough time.
Throughout the pandemic, we have also seen innovation and resilience. Restaurants really increasing their take out and delivery capacity, retailers working to create space and barriers to keep staff and customers safe, businesses pivoting (had to add this word) to ecommerce.
Businesses such as sign shops, website designers, grocery stores, and delivery services have hopefully done very well. Venture Kamloops, our local economic development agency, reports a strong interest in outside business investment in the community. The support programs from both the provincial and federal governments have been instrumental in keeping many businesses going.
Locally, our business support agencies and organizations have shined - Venture Kamloops, Tourism Kamloops, our business improvement associations, the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures agencies. They have branded their Covid related resilience initiative as YKASTRONG.
Mayor Christian has also made a great contribution to our recovery efforts through his task force on economic recovery.
And of course Kamloops citizens have stood up, as they are able, to support local business. There are many of us whose incomes have not been impacted and we are spending less. We should continue to support local businesses. If we are uncomfortable visiting a business in person right now, a gift card might be an option. Many local businesses are offering more robust online shopping options. It's a good idea to contact your favourite local businesses and see what kind of offerings they have in the fall. I've thought of joining together with a group of friends to support local businesses with attractive offerings who might be having a tougher time during the pandemic.