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Business Gets Creative

Amidst a global pandemic, local business owners have been finding new and innovative ways to deliver services as guidelines continue to change.

Downtown Duncan. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

Downtown Duncan looks and feels very different these days. It is quieter than usual as most businesses are closed to the public while we all socially distance to flatten the Covid-19 curve.

But if you thought nothing is happening, you are incorrect! Many businesses are innovating and changing the way they operate and offer their products in order to survive this unprecedented interruption of the economy. Utilizing a variety of online methods, including Shopify stores and other online commerce platforms, stores are able to keep serving customers.

Shop Fabrications online. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

Clothing and shoe retailers including Cardino Shoes, Fabrications, Wall Street Clothing, Sheer Essentials, and Area51 are offering touchless pick up and/or delivery of online orders. Even some salons like EK Hair offer free delivery of their hair products via Shopify within the Cowichan Valley.

Canada's largest online skateshop, Area51, is open for business. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

If you need to add some extra flavour to your meals, The Olive Station is open for pick up and delivery of their specialty olive oils, vinegars, and other assorted goods. By purchasing via pick up, you can also get your name entered into a draw to win a gift basket!

Order online from the Olive Station. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

For those with children already maxed out on screen time, contact The Red Balloon Toyshop by phone, email, or Facebook. They will help you shop for age-appropriate toys and activities to keep everyone entertained while we are staying home. Contactless pick up and delivery are available. Scott's Toys & Hobbies are offering similar services at this time.

Puzzles and games galore at the Red Balloon Toyshop. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime are another way that businesses can continue to offer their services. Forte School of Music now conducts all of their lessons online, enabling students to keep up with their musical education. They also have more flexibility for scheduling appointments virtually!

Lise Duncan of Equipoise Bodyworks in a side plank. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA

Similarly, Equipoise Bodyworks livestreams yoga, pilates, and guided meditation classes which provides an opportunity for taking care of yourself in mind, body, and spirit. Email for more information.

Essential food services also remain open. The Duncan Farmers Market is operating with a smaller number of vendors (food only) and reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace and Mad Dog Crabs have their shelves stocked with fresh produce and seafood, respectively.

reFresh Marketplace. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

Not up to preparing food? Take a break from your own cooking and get some take out. Mondays-Saturdays, from 11:30am to 6pm, Craig Street Brew Pub is offering a menu which varies regularly for both heat and serve items (sausage and chicken lasagna for two!) as well as to go classics like taco salad and santa fe wraps. Check their Facebook to know what's on today.

Meanwhile, the Ainslie sold out of Haltwhistle cheese burgers and kimchi pork tacos over the weekend - check their social media to know what's coming Fridays on Wednesdays!

Act fast to get take-out like burgers from the Ainslie. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

If you need a coffee and crepe to start your day, Ironworks Cafe and Creperie is open and also offering delivery via Dash Delivers. The Duncan Garage Cafe & Bakery is open on a limited basis as well, and you can stop by Corner House Cafe for a breakfast, lunch or dinner fix. Finally, Fresh Kenny's Fish & Chips is also open for take out from 4pm-7pm daily.

Battered fish to go at Fresh Kenny's. Photo by Ian Locke, CNCLV. Copyright DDBIA.

Even though none of us knows when, or how, this will all end, we are all in this together. Let’s keep supporting our small businesses and buying local whenever we can.

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