As many businesses prepare to shut down in-person operations this weekend due to new public health restrictions, it’s more important than ever that Edmontonians shop and eat locally.

“A number of small businesses will be hit hard by these renewed restrictions, especially since they haven’t been given time to prepare, but we understand that public health is the priority,” said Cherie Klassen, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA).

“During previous shutdowns, Edmontonians were amazing in their support of local businesses. Those same businesses need your support one more time. Order delivery or takeout from your favourite restaurant, do some curbside shopping here in our neighbourhood business areas, or buy a gift card to help put some money into the cash register right now.”

Businesses also need government support to keep their doors open. Many business owners have taken on more and more debt as the pandemic continued, and this puts them at risk of closing.

“As this pandemic has taught us, our best plans still need backup plans, and right now we cannot guarantee restrictions will be lifted in three weeks. Without new supports and funding, we may see more businesses closing this year, even as vaccinations allow health restrictions to be lifted,” said Klassen.

Along with other business improvement areas (BIAs), the OSBA has advocated for supports and resources to help everyone pay their bills, keep businesses open, and allow others to quickly re-open once restrictions are lifted.

We support the Alberta BIA Alliance and its letter to the premier and provincial cabinet calling for new supports in this third wave of the pandemic.

Summer is the busiest season for the hospitality industry in particular and, with thin profit margins, delivery and takeout may not be enough to sustain these businesses with a delayed start to the season. To say nothing of the thousands of dollars many have just spent building new patios to meet health guidelines announced in the spring. Government needs to step up it supports to this industry to recoup costs on PPE and outdoor dining, as well as advocating for caps on delivery providers, helping with rent and ensuring employees have a way to pay their own bills with reduced or eliminated hours.

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If you’d like to see how you can help Edmonton businesses during these new restrictions, we’ve put together a list of ways to support them.

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For businesses affected by new restrictions, please see our dedicated resource page for supports, funding and grants you may be eligible for.

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