The Downtown Vernon Association responded to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, March 13. (File photo)

COVID-19: ‘For most of us, we have no backup plan,’ North Okanagan business says

Downtown Vernon Association urges public to support local businesses

The Downtown Vernon Association is encouraging residents to shop local amid growing concerns surrounding COVID-19.

The health and safety of downtown residents, workers and visitors is of utmost importance to the organization and it says it’s closely monitoring the evolving situation and will inform stakeholders of relevant changes.

“The first priority is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our entire community remains healthy,” the DVA said in a statement.

But local businesses in Vernon are already feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus and many have turned to social media to encourage residents to shop locally.

“We’re willing to go pick up people’s vehicles and bring them down because at this point we’ll go under,” said Chelsey Langlois at Vernon’s OK Tire. “It’s just scary”

Malea’s Esthetics posted a Facebook story explaining the reality of small businesses if a mandatory lock down is required.

“For most of us, we have no backup plan, no sick pay, no vacation time,” the company wrote. “When we are not at work, we make zero dollars and still have rent due.

“If you are in the position, please support small businesses during this difficult and uncertain time.”

The DVA echoed this sentiment.

“Our community health as a whole depends on working together, and our small businesses are the lifeblood of the downtown Vernon economy,” the DVA wrote. “We want to make sure they continue to stay successful while maintaining appropriate public health safety measures.”

The DVA is continuing to work with the City of Vernon, health authorities and other organizations and are adjusting plans and promotions as necessary.

“We appreciate your support of local downtown business community and look forward to welcoming everyone back to #DiscoverDowntown soon.”

READ MORE: UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

READ MORE: Vernon Aquatic Centre shuts down hot spots; pools, weight room still open


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinessCoronavirusSmall Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP, firefighters rally in support for health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters Saturday night

Apparent gas leak on Highway 33 in Kelowna

Emergency crews have taped off access to Centex Gas on Highway 33 near Asher Road

Kelowna RCMP plan mini parade past KGH to recognize health care workers

Kelowna officers will flash lights and sounds both Saturday and Sunday night

Perry and Stanley awarded top UBC Okanagan rookies

The volleyball star and soccer star won the prize over Heat’s virtual awards banquet

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

WATCH: Okanagan producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

Most Read