It is an understatement to say that local businesses have been deeply affected by the pandemic, so it’s more important than ever to continue to #SupportFredLocal. We would like to take this opportunity to profile a few businesses that have developed new, innovative business approaches to serve their patrons, and continue to operate during Covid-19.
This past April, the City of Fredericton (Tourism), Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fredericton Inc, Business Fredericton North, and Ignite Fredericton joined forces to form a #SupportFredLocal Partnership — encouraging residents to buy from local businesses at: www.fredericton.ca/supportfredlocal .
This partnership expanded into Fredericton al fresco, which was designed to help local restaurants offset their restricted seating capacity due to Covid-19. Al Fresco features picnic and bistro-style tables, set up in Phoenix Square (in front of City Hall), Barracks Square (on lower Carleton Street) and the Nashwaaksis Commons. This European-inspired, outdoor dining experience also includes a live art installation in front of City Hall and local music. Before the summer is over, grab your favourite take-out, or have it delivered directly to your Fredericton al fresco table, while you enjoy the atmospheric music (Thursday-Saturday) brought to you by Fredericton Tourism.
MoCo Downtown has taken full advantage of Fredericton al fresco with Bella MoCo, a walk-up takeout window offering panzerottis, paninis, snacks and gelato on the menu.
Mill Town Roasters have also jumped on the bandwagon with their new outdoor dining set-up, featuring backyard comfort, downtown views and the smell of locally roasted coffee.
Delta Fredericton not only launched their new restaurant Stmr.36 BBQ & Social, they also announced the opening of the Delta Driveway Drive-in in June, featuring a drive-in dinner and a classic movie on the big screen; a throwback to the good old days but better!
Graystone Brewing has made social distancing more interesting with a completely revamped set-up. Groups (bubbles) can now reserve a newly built ‘pod’, choosing from a list of indoor or outdoor vibes.
There are also numerous retail businesses, like Savages, Johnny Java’s, Room2Remember, My Closet, Endeavors and the list goes on, that immediately pivoted during the pandemic offering touchless service for their customers.
Covid-19 has certainly stretched us and strengthened us in new ways that we never saw coming. However, with every challenge, there comes an opportunity to learn and grow. Hopefully, we can take time to reflect; explore and research some C-19 best practice business approaches; and be proactive and ready if we are confronted with another wave.
We all have a role to play supporting local businesses. Just think of the impact on our retail and restaurant community with people working from home, and not going out for lunch or dinner.
Please continue to #SupportFredLocal!
Laurie Guthrie, EcD, BIS
City of Fredericton – Civic Innovation