Only a week ago the new executive director of the Downtown Barrie Business Association(BIA) was championing people to come to the core to shop and eat, reminding everyone that despite the construction, shops, bars and restaurants were still open.
How quickly things have changed and Kelly McKenna spent the weekend hearing concerns of business owners in the wake of the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the BIA late yesterday, the Association said it was laser focused on supporting its membership through these unprecedented times and ensuring the health and safety of our community.
“Some of our cafes and restaurants are going to a take out only or delivery service,” said McKenna. “Others are restricting customers at any one time.”
She said they are taking precautions around social distancing.
McKenna said she had yet check the opinions of nightclub and bar owners.
“This is construction and Covid. Two things hitting the downtown at once.”
McKenna said while there are customers walking around the downtown, the construction has hit businesses with their normal volume. Throw COVID-19 into the mix and she is expecting a negative affect on businesses.
The statement said the BIA continues to encourage supporting local and is looking at ways to create safe and responsible initiatives for the community to continue their support.
McKenna didn’t want to put anything out there but said the BIA had a great discussion Monday on a whole bunch of things they can do that will encourage safe and healthy shopping.
“We are putting those into research mode to see if it is even possible to do them.”
McKenna said the BIA will be encouraging people to come downtown and walk around.
In the statement, the BIA wanted to remind everyone that people will always be welcome to enjoy the fresh waterfront air, to walk through the downtown and to support local businesses safely and responsibly.