By Chad Ingram
Earlier this week the Ontario governmentbegan easing restrictions on some businesses – landscapers and garden centresamong them – after a month and a half of business clampdown amid the ongoingCOVID-19 pandemic.
The government has announced there will bea phased re-opening of businesses in the province once it has seen a few weeksof steadily declining new daily cases of the virus. A staggering and assessmentperiod of two to four weeks is to take place between each of those stages ofwhich there are three. Even at the third stage large events such as concertsare not expected to be able to take place.
The past month and a half has been anextremely difficult period for many of Haliburton County's businesses to thepoint where some business owners have said they doubt they will ever be able toopen their doors again and it looks like depending on the nature of thebusinesses those hard times are bound to continue for a number of weeks ormonths yet.
The importance of supporting localbusinesses is a message that's filled this space a number of times before butit's probably never been so important or immediate as now. Particularly as wehead into the time of year when most of the community's businesses make most oftheir money many of them are going to need our support in order to survive.
Many businesses that have been able to havebeen operating in a modified fashion including curbside pickup and deliveryservices from the county's two craft breweries (yes I am listing this first)and a variety of curbside pickup and takeout options from eateries. Startingthis month two popular restaurants along the Highway 35 corridor have starteda supper club where multi-course meals and adult beverages can be delivered toyour door if you live within a certain radius.
There are many businesses that continue tooffer gift certificates that can be picked up curbside. Mother's Day is just afew days away and if you're a terrible procrastinator in this department likeyours truly then there's still time to support local business as you do yourMother's Day shopping.
As most of the county's major summer eventsincluding the Haliburton Home and Cottage Show and the Haliburton Art and CraftFestival have already been cancelled it means many local artists artisans andvendors of all kinds will be without some of their major money-making venuesfor the year. Many continue to sell their art and goods via the internet so ifthere's one you're a particular fan of seek them out and see what they have tooffer during this strange time.
This summer is going to be a very adifferent summer in the Haliburton Highlands and its businesses need oursupport more than ever before.