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MARCH 17, 2020

The Downtown Vernon Association is urging people to buy local and support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Greater Vernon Chamber made a similar plea earlier this week.

The DVA acknowledges the safety of workers and customers is of the utmost importance but asks residents and visitors to remember the many small businesses in the downtown and to continue supporting them — even if it is online or by telephone.

“It has been difficult for many businesses as they have been required to cut capacity or close entirely by this crisis and many small, independent businesses are doing their best to adapt and respond quickly,” a DVA release said.

The DVA suggests people:

  • Shop online or via phone. Many of downtown’s retailers have online shopping available; our local and independent shops will help you get what you need via phone, FaceTime or other methods, if necessary.
  • Purchase custom or corporate gifts from retailers who can handle orders over the phone or online.
  • If you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now.
  • If you do not need anything specific at the moment but still want to support local, buy gift cards to spend later in our various storefront businesses.
  • For restaurants, order takeout or delivery and tip the same amount as you would dining in.
  • You can buy gift cards for many local restaurants, too.

“Our health, as a community, depends on working together and our local, small businesses are the best in responding with care to individual needs with the unique perspective of being local,” the release said.

The association also urges people to get out into the sun, stroll the downtown and take in the murals and heritage buildings.

In other business news, Save-On-Foods is the latest to limit store hours — from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

However seniors and people suffering from disabilities will be allowed in the store at 7 a.m. in order to shop in a less hectic environment and allow for social distancing.

Online shopping services are also available.

“Limiting operating hours will give the teams at Save-On-Foods additional time to clean and sanitize, restock the shelves and better serve their customers, and also gives the front-line grocery store workers a much-needed chance to recharge during these unprecedented times,” a company release said.

“It is not business as usual and my amazing team of 21,000 team members has a big job to do as they work around the clock to replenish the items our customers need,” Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones said in a release.

He said the company is not experiencing a widespread shortage of food but is working around the clock to address supply chain challenges the company is facing in getting goods to stores.

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