Helping businesses and consumers connect during pandemic

STRAIT AREA: The Strait Area Chamber of Commerce is taking measures to help businesses affected by Covid-19 and, with that, increase public safety during the pandemic of 2020.

Folks looking to take advantage of local services can visit one of two Facebook groups, both of which were setup by the chamber. The groups detail what local businesses offer in terms of deliveries, take-outs, and any other means of contributing to public safety.

All businesses are welcome, from restaurants to technology firms to hardware stores.

One is Businesses that Deliver – Southern Cape Breton/Northern Mainland, and the other is Businesses that Deliver Northern Cape Breton.

“We kept seeing bits and pieces coming from different businesses on Facebook, and I was thinking, gosh, if you aren’t friends or if you don’t follow that page, how would it even pop-up on your feed?” said Amanda Mombourquette, executive director of the Strait Area Chamber.

“We split the island north and south, and we captured the northern mainland as well.”

The groups are meant to support small businesses, and to give the public safer access to the things they need. Any business can post there to detail their delivery services, take-out services, or some other means of contributing to public safety. All businesses are welcome, from restaurants to technology firms to hardware stores.

“We wanted to put it all in one place so people can find it,” said Susan Fox, membership services and events coordinator.

When asked if the chamber is hearing much from the business community, Fox said people have concerns but are facing the situation bravely.

“It’s uncharted waters,” she said. “We haven’t gone through this before and hopefully we won’t again, but everyone is taking it day-by-day and doing the best they can. Supply and demand isn’t what it used to be.”

The executive director said business owners are putting the focus on public health but hoping to maintain stability in the local economy.

“Employers are extremely concerned about their ability to pay their workforce, and they are making nothing short of superhuman efforts to take care of their employees, while still providing much needed services and products to the general public,” Mombourquette said.

“Supply chains are disrupted and customers are staying home. In the face of these challenges and more, businesses of all sorts have adjusted their business models to include things like a delivery service, dedicated opening hours for the most vulnerable, and implementing technologies to work from home.

“These are difficult times, and we must work together to flatten the curve.”

Mombourquette and Fox spoke to The Reporter last Friday, which was Mombourquette’s last day serving as executive director of the chamber. She’s moving onto new employment adventures with the Nova Scotia Community College.