Love for local
By Chad Ingram
Earlier this week, the Ontario government began easing restrictions on some businesses – landscapers and garden centres among them – after a month and a half of business clampdown amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has announced there will be a phased re-opening of businesses in the province once it has seen a few weeks of steadily declining new daily cases of the virus. A staggering and assessment period of two to four weeks is to take place between each of those stages, of which there are three. Even at the third stage, large events such as concerts are not expected to be able to take place.
The past month and a half has been an extremely difficult period for many of Haliburton County's businesses, to the point where some business owners have said they doubt they will ever be able to open their doors again, and it looks like, depending on the nature of the businesses, those hard times are bound to continue for a number of weeks or months yet.
The importance of supporting local businesses is a message that's filled this space a number of times before, but it's probably never been so important or immediate as now. Particularly as we head into the time of year when most of the community's businesses make most of their money, many of them are going to need our support in order to survive.
Many businesses that have been able to have been operating in a modified fashion, including curbside pickup and delivery services from the county's two craft breweries (yes, I am listing this first), and a variety of curbside pickup and takeout options from eateries. Starting this month, two popular restaurants along the Highway 35 corridor have started a supper club where multi-course meals and adult beverages can be delivered to your door if you live within a certain radius.
There are many businesses that continue to offer gift certificates that can be picked up curbside. Mother's Day is just a few days away and if you're a terrible procrastinator in this department, like yours truly, then there's still time to support local business as you do your Mother's Day shopping.
As most of the county's major summer events including the Haliburton Home and Cottage Show and the Haliburton Art and Craft Festival have already been cancelled, it means many local artists, artisans and vendors of all kinds will be without some of their major money-making venues for the year. Many continue to sell their art and goods via the internet, so if there's one you're a particular fan of, seek them out and see what they have to offer during this strange time.
This summer is going to be a very a different summer in the Haliburton Highlands, and its businesses need our support more than ever before.