As of December 13, 2020, Alberta's new mandatory restrictions limit business operations. What does this "second wave" mean for Alberta small businesses?
The Government of Alberta recently announced "enhanced mandatory restrictions" to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the province. The guidelines, effective Sunday, December 13th, include closures of in-person dining at restaurants, pubs, bars, breweries and cafes (curbside pickup, take-out and delivery only), 15% capacity of retail shops, closures of personal and wellness services, and more. These business restrictions correspond with the limits seen in early 2020, which led to the closure of many local businesses in Calgary and around the world.
What do the COVID-19 restrictions mean for Alberta small businesses?
As citizens, we understand the restrictions are in place to manage a crisis. Still, there is no denying that the pandemic's impact on local businesses is a crisis in itself. In early 2020, nearly 20,000 Alberta businesses closed following the initial COVID-19 restrictions. Many local organizations rely on their customers' physical presence to keep their doors open, and many can’t withstand another four weeks without business.
What can businesses do during the COVID-19 pandemic to stay afloat?
For businesses, we see how challenging this time can be. Mandatory restrictions during a time of year that is a significant revenue-generator for many businesses is burdensome. As of now, curbside pickup and delivery options are the only way many companies are offering services. This process can be either costly for the average mom and pop shop that chooses to use a third-party service or overwhelming for those who choose to offer curbside pickup services themselves without a proper tool in place. We created a curbside pickup management platform, JustPickup, with these businesses in mind.
JustPickup is an online order management tool that allows businesses worldwide to offer curbside pickup services without any hassle, high costs, or commission. With free and paid plans (starting at $9.99/month), JustPickup provides small businesses with a cost-effective way to manage curbside pickup orders. Many businesses did not survive the first wave; JustPickup wants to help small businesses survive the second.
Why It’s Important
While there has been a silver lining in the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada–it is far from an end-all solution. It is still unclear what the new year will bring for small businesses, so preparation and diligence are crucial. Having tools and plans for the new year, and being fiscally conservative with those choices, can potentially help put a business in a better position to take on any additional curveballs come 2021.
What can consumers do to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Shop Local, Pickup Curbside
Using curbside pickup tools or delivery services directly from the business can help tremendously. Many third-party delivery tools are costly and take a large commission on sales, resulting in more harm than good for smaller businesses. These prices can affect you, as a consumer, as well, as some businesses are forced to hike up prices of items available for delivery to make up for lost revenue. Signing up for services, like JustPickup, which takes no commission from the consumer or the business, can help support local businesses during this difficult time.
For more information on JustPickup, visit justpickup.ca.
If you're a business looking for more ways to utilize technology and increase presence and revenue during the pandemic, contact us. We're here to provide digital solutions to your biggest business challenges.