With several local businesses forced to close or reduce their hours due to COVID-19, the Napanee District Chamber of Commerce has come up with some virtual ideas to help through this difficult time.
The first is a partnership with FanSaves to create a one-stop-shop to sell online gift cards.The free program allows local businesses to generate some income while maintaining social distancing practices. FanSaves is offering to work with small businesses who have never had gift certificates before to create an online platform.
The gift certificates can be found at www.FanSavesHelps.ca. Shoppers can select businesses they want to support in their region, name the denomination and then checkout. They’ll then be emailed a digital gift certificate they can print out and use when social distance orders are no longer in place.
Along with the gift certificates, the NDCC is also hosting a business-to-business online coffee chat for its members every Tuesday, in partnership with the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce.
“This allows business owners, no matter what their geographical area, to come together to meet new people just to get that sort of familiarity and that networking still happening and that connection piece,” said NDCC business manager Megan Sands of the weekly meetings.
NDCC is also offering free of charge to every business, whether they are members or not, access to weekly webinars they host every Thursday at 2 p.m. The Zoom meetings are available through the NDCC’s Facebook page and will run for the next four weeks.
To help track the impact of COVID-19, the chamber has put together an online survey on their website at www.NapaneeChamber.ca/covid-19. They’re hoping to get as many responses as possible to help understand the challenges facing local businesses, as well as to develop tools to help them by finding what has worked for other companies.
Sands says local businesses can also visit www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/ to get the latest on all the resources being offered by the Canadian government to assist during the pandemic.