(L to R) Andrew O’Kane, Dirk Lewis, Andras Lukacs and Chris Bowman

Business walk takes place in Rossland for first time in five years

The impact of COVID-19 on local businesses was main theme during walk

A business walk was held in downtown Rossland this week for the first time in five years.

On Sept. 2, mayor Kathy Moore and councillor Dirk Lewis took two different groups along Columbia Avenue and Washington Street to get a sense of how local businesses are doing.

“This business walk had a different focus, especially since every businesses is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis differently,” said Moore.

“It was interesting to see how they’re adapting and negating the effects. We were pretty pleased since some of the business were doing well or even better than before the pandemic.”

Grocery stores, bicycle shops, and pet shops were some businesses that said they’ve recently been operating well.

However, not all business have been faring well during the crisis, according to Lewis.

“In the food and beverage space, we’ve definitely seen a shift from restaurants purchasing things to people purchasing things. For example, liquor stores reported strong sales because many people haven’t been able to go inside a restaurant to buy a beer,” said Lewis.

“Some of the businesses that really depend on people being in their store or facility have definitely struggled. It will definitely be harder for them I think to get through this.”

Many businesses reported a lot of uncertainty around how the crisis would impact their businesses in the months to come.

While businesses in the tourism sector were concerned about less international visitors coming to Rossland, they said they were hopeful that more B.C. residents and Canadians would come to visit them.

“Tourism Rossland has done a lot of marketing recently to try and get B.C. residents to come visit the city,” said Moore.

“They’ve also received some additional funding to do more targeted advertising in B.C. this winter.”

During the conversations, Moore and Lewis collected feedback from the business on sheets of paper and will now pass it along to the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce.

The feedback will be used to help support and grow the local business community.

READ MORE: Rossland Art Walk to showcase youth art


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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