Companies across Winnipeg are adapting to the new realities of an ever-changing situation around COVID-19. Local business owners are hoping as they shift how they offer services and products; consumers will also adapt and continue to support them.
“I completely understand everyone is going through things but if people could still try to remember small business, it really could mean saving businesses like mine and so many others here in Winnipeg,” says Sarah Sue MacLachlan of Sarah Sue Designs.
“I would really encourage anyone who can, just shop online right now even if it means buying Mother’s Day presents early or a friend's birthday present early,” adds MacLachlan who is offering a major spring sale on everything on her website, free shipping across Canada and private one-on-one bookings at her showroom.
Mad About Style has also closed its storefront but is moving its spring collection online, offering free shipping with the “cozyathome” code.
The Forks officially closed to the public March 17th, and some vendors are pushing consumers to online options, like dconstruct jewelry. It’s holding a ‘Desperate Times/Desperate Measures’ sale where products are 30 per cent off.
“For us personally, it’s terrifying we have lost so much in a span of days. Our future is so unknown. I know we are not alone, and my heart is with everyone who is so greatly affected whether it’s financial or health,” says dconstruct jewelry owner, Lisa Pointon-Reico.
“We all need to support local small business. For people who have stability we urge to please help where you can. Shop at locally owned grocery stores etcetera. We appreciate everyone’s support so much,” adds Pointon-Reico.
Ellement Wine + Spirits located at The Forks, says people can order from its store online through SkiptheDishes. Private wine stores such as De Luca’s, Kenaston Wine Market and Banville & Jones also offer delivery from their websites.
Banville & Jones wine store owner Tina Jones says the store is still open, but classes and wine-tastings have been put on hold for now.
“The idea of shopping local is always important, but even more so now. It’s all about the community now. We want to continue employing Manitobans. Our goal is to stick with every employee. We realize things are changing rapidly and we’re just trying to stay above water,” says Jones.
“We’ve got all these people who can still work and are eager to work and we want to help keep some normalcy, as much as we can,” adds Mike Muirhead, Sommelier, Buyer and Vice President at Banville & Jones.
People looking to sip some wine and pass time at home without being in large groups can consider picking out a book from Bison Books. For a limited time, it is offering free delivery within 10 kilometres from the shop but a small cost if it’s outside of that radius.
Restaurants around the city are shifting to takeout or delivery models, you can check out more details on our Peg City Grub blog.
In the end, businesses owners across the city are just looking for some support and have already started to talk about how people can help under Tourism Winnipeg’s Local Love post and stories on Instagram. If you can’t support them with cash, Sarah Sue MacLachlan says there’s another way to help.
“If you can’t financially support the small businesses, you can try to promote us on your social media or try to share us with a friend who can support us. Spreading local love can save us,” says MacLachlan.