Re-Opening Guidelines & Halton Webinar Series

Halton Reopening Webinar Series

On Tuesday, May 19, Stage 1 of the Government of Ontario’s reopening plan comes into effect.  The first stage of reopening will focus on workplaces that are well-positioned to follow public health advice to maintain physical distancing, implement workplace safety guidance and limit gatherings.

Opening Tuesday in Ontario:

  • Retail stores not in shopping malls
  • Pet grooming
  • House cleaning and general maintenance, repair services
  • Construction and car dealerships
  • Outdoor recreational sports centres for sports not played in teams
  • Certain health and medical services, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries

See the full list of Stage 1 businesses.

To assist employers and the public, the Province released a Framework that outlines the method and principles being used to guide the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. 

Any further questions of interpretations of the guidelines and list of businesses, call the Stop the Spread Business Line at 1-888-444-3659.

New! Reopening your Business in Halton: Webinar Series

Many of Halton’s local businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. As the Ontario government has announced the first stage of reopening the economy, our Small Business Centre is here to provide support and guidance through this challenging time.

Join us for this webinar series, and get helpful advice and tips to make sure your business is ready to reopen safely. To learn more about this series and other webinars, visit our Small Business page on halton.ca.

Webinar: Preparing to reopen your business in Halton: Keeping employees and customers safe
May 25, 2020 | 11 a.m. to noon

This webinar is intended to provide businesses in Halton with important information about reopening effectively and protecting the health and safety of customers and staff.

Attendees will hear from industry speakers and health and safety representatives, including:

  • Doron Melnick, Partner and Acting National Leader, People & Change Services, KPMG Canada
  • Regional Coordinator, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
  • Question and answer session (questions to be submitted in advance)

Register

Webinar: Preparing to reopen your restaurant or personal service business in Halton
June 1, 2020 | 11 a.m. to noon

This webinar is intended to provide restaurants and personal service businesses in Halton with important information about reopening effectively and protecting the health and safety of customers and staff.

Attendees will hear from industry speakers and health and safety representatives, including:

  • Tony Elenis, President and CEO, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association
  • Regional Coordinator, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
  • Question and answer session (questions to be submitted in advance)

Register

Webinar: Preparing to reopen your agri-business or agri-tourism business in Halton
June 3, 2020 | 11 a.m. to noon

This webinar is intended to provide customer-facing agri-business and agri-tourism businesses in Halton with important information about reopening effectively and protecting the health and safety of customers and staff.

Attendees will hear from government representatives and health and safety professionals, including:

  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Halton representative
  • Regional Coordinator, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
  • Anna DeMarchi-Meyers, Agricultural Liaison Officer, Halton Region
  • Question and answer session (questions to be submitted in advance)

Register

Webinar: Business strategy for recovery from COVID-19 and our new reality
June 4, 2020 | 11 a.m. to noon

This webinar is intended to provide businesses with key considerations for building and adapting their business strategies to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and to position themselves for success in our new reality.

Attendees will hear from an industry speaker with expertise in operational change:

  • Doron Melnick, Partner and Acting National Leader, People & Change Services, KPMG Canada
  • Question and answer session (questions to be submitted in advance)

Register

For more information about opening businesses safely, view this video from Halton‘s Medical Officer of Health.

Visit our Halton COVID-19 Business Support website  for information and links to COVID-19  programs.

Posted in Announcement, COVID-19, Resources, Retail Sales, Retail Stores, seminars, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Halton companies stepping up to help fight COVID-19

woman in gray t shirt standing near glass window

On March 11, St Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto reached out to ASTOUND Group, a custom design and build manufacturer in Oakville, to come up with a solution to protect front-line workers from exposure to COVID-19.  In less than 72 hours, the prototype COVID-19 containment kiosks were designed, manufactured and installed at the COVID-19 Rapid Assessment Centre at St. Michael’s. Since then, Astound has built more than 100 of the kiosks, which have been deployed to hospitals across Canada and has announced plans are underway to make their COVID-19 Rapid Assessment Centre designs public so any capable manufacturer can join in the effort to fight the pandemic.

Here is a (growing) list of other Halton businesses, manufacturers and organizations that have answered the call for emergency products, services and innovative solutions to support the COVID-19 response.   Please contact us at ecdev@halton.ca if you know of a business you think we should highlight.

Astound Group – Plexiglass screening to protect front-line workers from exposure to COVID-19. Inside Halton

Burloak Technologies –  With the support of Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen), Burloak Technologies is partnering with Mohawk College to produce face shields for healthcare workers.

C.G.A. Ironworks – Retooled to make 1M faceshields. Citynews Toronto

Ford Motor Company of Canada:

  • Donated 80 N95 masks to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and 2,900 pairs of Nitrile gloves to Brampton Civic Hospital. Invest Oakville
  • Engineers from the Oakville plant are assisting other manufacturers of PPE in Canada and dedicated teams will continue to monitor the COVID-19 impact and explore new solutions. Invest Oakille
  • Retooled a portion of its Windsor Engine Plant to produce plastic protective face shields to be donated to healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. Global News

IKEA Canada – committed over $2M to support local companies impacted by COVID-19.

Major accounting firms including KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, BDO, PwC, Grant Thornton, MNP and others are offering free tax returns to health care workers. CBC News

Promation:

  • Partnered with a local laser cutting company to manufacture 650 face shield frames per day using 3D printing technology.
  • Partnering with University of Waterloo to evaluate face shield visor materials as current materials are being depleted.
  •  Working with the University Health Network, Canada’s largest research organization, to design and produce a scalable working ventilator prototype and mobilized support from industry partners to begin production once the prototype is approved.  – Invest Oakville

Q Designs – Custom drapery manufacturer recruited entire team and some volunteers to create masks and scrubs in their own homes using material normally use for curtains.  CBC News

Sheridan College – has donated $52,000 worth of personal protective equipment and other materials to health agencies in the GTA.  Inside Halton News

Superior Glove – Hand Sanitizer – The first 1,000 bottles produced will be donated to facilities in need across our community. Also, plans to donate 48,000 pairs of nitrile gloves to keep frontline workers safe. Superior Glove LinkedIn

Virox Technologies – provides disinfecting solutions, protocols and education to combat transmission of COVID-19. Global News

Funding Programs to help businesses respond to COVID-19

National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Programs: Explore NRC programs, partnership opportunities, and industry challenges to find collaborative solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak

Call to Action: Canadian manufacturers needed – If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed: Call to Action.

Supplier Opportunity: Help Canada Combat COVID-19 – the Government of Canada is seeking businesses to supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19. For more information, visit Help Canada Combat COVID-19.

Ontario Together: Province seeks emergency products and solutions – the Government of Ontario is seeking help from businesses who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19. The province has created a $50-million Ontario Together Fund to help companies respond. To get involved, visit Ontario Together

NGen: Next Generation Manufacturing Canada: NGen will invest $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. Project Application Guide.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Collaboration Platform: OCE is identifying the innovative technologies, SMEs and experts from across the province to help fill the current product and service gaps related to COVID-19. Connect with OCE if you have a piece of the puzzle (asset, technology, or product) to collaborate: OCE Collaboration Platform.

 

 

Posted in Announcement, COVID-19, Economic Development, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Halton organizations collaborate to help businesses navigate relief programs and fight COVID-19

 

turned on macbook

Halton Economic Development including the Small Business Center and Global Business Center is proud to be among many local organizations working together to help Halton businesses navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic.  From virtual forums hosted by local Chambers of Commerce, to economic task forces dedicated to supporting business continuity and recovery, we are all working together to support Halton’s business community.

Visit the following websites to learn more about local programs, resources and collaborations that are supporting the Halton business community.

Business Improvement Associations

Chambers of Commerce

Economic Development

Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre

  • Regional Haltech

Halton Public Health

The Halton Small Business Centre will be offering its services by e-mail, phone and video conferencing. We are available for one-on-one consultations and to answer to your business questions and inquiries.  We encourage you to contact us at (905) 825-6000 ext. 7900 or smallbusiness@halton.ca.

Follow us on our BlogTwitter and Facebook for updates and information.

For more information and to access resources, tools, templates, and seminar registration, please visit us online at www.halton.ca/smallbusiness.

 

 

 

Posted in COVID-19, Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Resources, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Recommendations for Grocery and Retail Stores

Retails stores play an essential role in every community by ensuring safe and reliable access to food, medications, supplies and other provisions. At the same time, it is critical for everyone to adjust how they operate in these environments, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here are some helpful tips to keep your staff and customers safe.

Best Practices for Infection Control

  • Place hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60 per cent ethyl alcohol in dispensers near doors, pay stations and other high-touch locations for customer and staff use. Make wipes and trash bins available for wiping down shopping carts and baskets and disposing of the wipes.
  • In addition to routine cleaning, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (such as point of sale transaction equipment, phones, doorknobs, carts, hand baskets, bagging areas, counters, and hand rails) at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
  • If they can withstand the use of liquids for disinfection, frequently touched electronics such as phones, computers and other devices may be disinfected with 70 per cent alcohol (for example, alcohol prep wipes).
  • Provide clean carry-out bags for purchased food and grocery products. Encourage customers not use their own containers, reusable bags or boxes.
  • Post signs at each check out counter that customer packaging is not to be used or placed on check out counters.
  • Do NOT sell bulk items, except in gravity feed bins or where staff dispense the bulk items while wearing appropriate protective equipment.
  • Remove any product sampling stations.
  • Post a notice at the entrance to your store, asking customers who arrive with cold, flu or COVID-19 like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) to return home. Refer to delivery service options, and suggest they have a friend or loved one shop for them.

Best Practices for Handling Sales

  • Allow customers to scan credit cards and loyalty cards themselves, wherever possible.
  • Employees who handle cash or credit card must wash their hands frequently with soap and water. This includes before and after breaks, before and at the end of their shift, and before and after preparing or handling food.
  • If operators and employees choose to wear gloves (vinyl, nitrile or latex as a last resort, as this is a common allergen), wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available) before and after putting on and taking off gloves.
  • Employees should remove gloves, dispose of them and change into new gloves before and after breaks and before preparing or handling food.
  • Offer online or phone orders with delivery or pickup services as alternatives to shopping in person.

Best Practices for Physical Distancing

  • A two-metre physical distance should be maintained between employees and customers unless there is a physical barrier (for example, Plexiglass).
  • The maximum number of people in the store (including employees) at any one time is one person per four square metres (two metres by two metres) of retail floor space.
  • Have clear signs in multiple locations that indicate the maximum number of customers and staff a store can accommodate at any one time.
  • Monitor the number of customers and staff entering and leaving the store. Once the maximum number of persons for a store is reached, allow one person in for each person who leaves.
  • Ensure that two metres’ physical distance is maintained for any customers waiting outside to enter your facility. You may consider placing markers to indicate how far people should stand from each other.
  • Place markers on the floor at check-out aisles to ensure customers maintain a two metre physical distance from one another.
  • If aisles are not wide enough for customers to physically distance themselves while in the aisles, consider placing arrows to indicate that aisles are one way.
  • Close any seating or dine-in area that may be in the store.
  • Arrange for staff to restock shelves outside of store operating hours, or limit the number of staff per aisle stocking items during operating hours.

Recommendations for Vulnerable Populations

  • Consider dedicating the first hour of operation for customers from vulnerable populations, for customers over 65 or for those with a compromised immune system.
  • Other practices for consideration include offering a pre-order/pick up/delivery model to limit interactions.

Employers

  • If an employee has recently returned from outside Canada, they must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Screen your staff for symptoms at the beginning of each shift.
  • Staff should self-monitor daily for symptoms of COVID-19, including days they are not working.
  • Staff should stay home when they feel sick (for example, cough, fever, difficulty breathing).
  • Place posters in common areas to remind staff of hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette, maintaining physical distance and not touching their face.
  • Remind staff and customers to cover coughs/sneezes with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Use appropriate hand washing measures after using tissues.
  • If employees must use public transportation to come to work, consider flexible hours to allow them to avoid peak travel periods.
  • Make a plan for how employees will return home without using public transit if they develop symptoms at work.

To protect themselves and others, all employees should take the following precautions:

  • Before starting work and before and after breaks, staff should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, when possible.
  • Stay home when they are sick.
  • Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash hands.
  • In addition to routine cleaning, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces twice a day with appropriate products.
  • If they can withstand the use of liquids for disinfection, frequently touched electronics such as phones, computers and other devices may be disinfected with 70 per cent alcohol (for example, alcohol prep wipes).

References:

BC Centre for Disease Control. (2020, March 28). COVID-19 Guidance to Retail Food and Grocery Stores. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/covid-materials/covid-19_guidance_to_grocery_stores_29mar2020_final.pdf

Ottawa Public Health. (2020). COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Stores – Including Grocery Stores and Pharmacies. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/resourcesGeneral/Guidance-Document—Retail-Stores.pdf

Adapted from:

Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

Document Number 3266254

2020-04-07

 

Posted in COVID-19, Retail Stores, Tips and Advice | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

COVID-19 General Information for Halton Workplaces

This document is intended to provide guidance to owners and managers of essential businesses and services that continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. How can I protect my employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Essential businesses and services are encouraged to put the following measures into place to safeguard the well-being of employees and volunteers:

  • Post signage to alert workers to the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory hygiene.
  • Make hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies available in workspaces throughout your facility.
  • Increase the frequency of environmental cleaning for all common areas and frequently touched surfaces. Please use this fact sheet to learn more about cleaning and disinfection for public settings.
  • Consider reviewing sick-leave policies for employees who are ill.
  • Ask employees and volunteers to self-isolate for 14 days from symptom onset if they:
    • have COVID-19 symptoms;
    • are close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; or
    • have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days (even if they don’t have symptoms).

Employers can also encourage staff to:

  • stay home when ill;
  • work from home, if possible;
  • participate in virtual meetings rather than meeting in person;
  • screen themselves daily before coming to work using the Ontario online self-assessment tool;
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub;
  • avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve; and
  • practice physical distancing (social distancing), by maintaining a two-metre/six-foot distance from others.

For more information, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Preventing COVID-19 in the workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers

  1. What should I do if my employee is being tested for COVID-19?
  • While the employee is waiting for test results, they should not go to work and should isolate at home.
  • Individuals that have had close contact (spent extensive time within a two-metre radius) with this employee may need to take additional precautions, such as self-monitoring for symptoms or self-isolating. If the employee tests positive for COVID-19, they will be contacted by Halton Region Public Health. Halton Region Public Health will provide them with guidance on next steps and will conduct an investigation to identify their close contacts.
  1. What should I do if my employee has come into close contact with someone else who is confirmed positive for COVID-19?

If your employee has come into close contact with someone who is confirmed positive for COVID-19, Halton Region Public Health will contact the employee to inform them. Depending on their level of exposure, they may be asked to self-monitor for symptoms or to self-isolate. If self-monitoring, they will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and if they become symptomatic, to self-isolate for 14 days from when symptoms began.

To be considered a close contact, the employee would have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 while they were ill or 48 hours prior to their symptoms (for example, fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat).

A close contact is defined as a person who:

  • provided care (for example, feeding, bathing, toileting) for the individual, or had other close physical contact;
  • lives in the same household;
  • had close contact (within 2 metres) for a prolonged period (for example, greater than one hour) with the person while they were infectious; or
  • had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (for example, was coughed or sneezed on).
  1. What should I do if my employee is confirmed positive for COVID-19?

If an employee is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the following steps should occur:

  • Employers are not required to report their employees to Halton Region Public Health. Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 are reported by health-care providers and laboratories to public health departments.
  • The employee will be asked to inform their employer that they have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Halton Region Public Health will contact the employee to provide guidance, identify close contacts and perform a risk assessment for all exposures that may have occurred in the workplace.
  • Halton Region Public Health will work closely with the employee who tested positive to identify all close contacts at work while the case was infectious, including clients, vendors or third-parties. Public Health may contact the employer to assist with identifying close contacts in the workplace as required. Individuals that have had close contact (spent extensive time within a two-metre radius) with the employee may need to take additional precautions, such as self-monitoring for symptoms or self-isolation.
  • If close contacts have been identified and the employee does not have their contact information, the employer may be asked to provide contact information for these individuals. Halton Region Public Health will then follow up with each individual accordingly.
  • In some situations, employers may be directed by Public Health to notify all staff who worked during the exposure dates of their potential risk of infection. When notifying staff, employers must maintain confidentiality and not identify the name of the employee who was confirmed positive for COVID-19. In this communication, employers should consider explaining the actions that will be taken to protect the ongoing health and safety of employees (for example, cleaning and disinfection of the workplace).
  1. When can my employee who tested positive for COVID-19 return to work?
  • Halton Region Public Health monitors individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and will advise the employee when it is safe for them to return to work.
  • Other employees who are identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case may also be asked to self-isolate and will not be able to work during that time. Public Health will advise these employees when it is safe for them to return to work.
Posted in COVID-19, Tips and Advice | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Upcoming Seminars & Resources to Help Your Small Business

person-holding-blue-ballpoint-pen-on-white-notebook-669610The Halton Small Business Centre is proud to be part of a larger network of 54 Provincial Small Business Enterprise Centres located across Ontario.  During this difficult time, our Centres have come together to share information and learning opportunities with all of our clients and local businesses.

We want to ensure that you have the best information, solutions, support and advice to succeed and navigate this challenging situation.

Here is a list of upcoming virtual seminars and events presented by our Small Business Centre community:

How to Create a Business Plan That Gets Results (Brampton Entrepreneur Centre)
Tuesday, April 14th
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Register Online

COVID-19 Government Assistance for Small Businesses (Business Advisory Centre Durham)
Wednesday, April 15th
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Register Online

Get the information you need for your tax return in this workshop including tax filing deadlines, tax payment deadlines and Government funding available to businesses and business owners.

Managing your Mortgage and Credit During COVID-19 (York Region Small Business Centre)
Thursday, April 16th
10:30 am
Register Online
Speakers: Fortune Funding and Meridian
Topics covered in this session include:

  • Business loan payment deferral programs offered by FIs
  • The new $40,000 Government Guaranteed Loan
  • Personal Mortgage Payment Deferral programs offered by FIs (Pros and Cons)
  • Financing whether purchasing or refinancing in this new climate. Variable or Fixed?
  • What if I lose my job, how are lenders handling this?
  • Dropping Bank of Canada Interest Rates and their relationship to lending rates?

How to Manage Your Finances and Cash Flow During this COVID-19 Crisis (Brampton Entrepreneur Centre)
Monday, April 20th
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Register Online

Mental Illness and Mental Health for Entrepreneurs (Business Advisory Centre Durham)
Thursday, April 23rd
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Register Online

This webinar will provide an introduction to Mental Illness and Mental Health with a focus on specific tips and challenges for entrepreneurs, along with actionable tips to help you better manage your own mental health in the workplace.

Mississauga Small Business Centre
The City of Mississauga will be hosting a series of business and digital marketing webinars through its Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre. Click here for more information and to register.

Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre:
We wanted to do our small part during this stressful time by creating a free online class to help people transition to working from home. If you’re doing so for the first time or have only worked from home sparingly in the past, check out this class to help get you in the groove.

In under 20 minutes, we’ll walk you through tips on how to carve out a working space, keep productive, have the right attitude, and stay connected. We’ll also share useful tools you can use to make the switch easier.

Click here to access this free class.


The Halton Small Business Centre will be offering its services by e-mail, phone and video conferencing. We are available for one-on-one consultations and to answer to your business questions and inquiries.  We encourage you to contact us at (905) 825-6000 ext. 7900 or smallbusiness@halton.ca.

Follow us on our BlogTwitter and Facebook for updates and information.

For more information and to access resources, tools, templates, and seminar registration, please visit us online at www.halton.ca/smallbusiness.

 

 

Posted in COVID-19, events, seminars, Small Business Advice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Getting to the sale in the age of COVID-19

Getting the Sale Using E-Commerce

COVID-19 has brought many challenges for small businesses, but with it, it has opened up some very diverse opportunities to connect and engage us with our customers. Today, face-to-face interactions are diminishing, but growing your relationship with your customers are just as important now than ever before. With so many businesses in a pinch to make sales, here are some quick ways you can drive your business into the digital world:

 Sell on Social Media (Instagram or Facebook Market Place)

If you are a small business with local clientele, this is the quickest, most efficient way to get to your customers, and the best way to maintain your relationship with them. There is no website required; social media platforms give you the opportunity to create a page for your business.

You can use Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories or Facebook Live and Instagram Live features to explain your products and costs associated with it, and follow it up with a detailed post. If you have already built relationships with your clients, it becomes a lot easier if you offer them curbside pickup and allow them to electronically make a payment for their purchases.

A few great tools to use when you market your product on social media, especially on Instagram, are Canva and photo editors such as Snapseed and VSCO. You can also make your images look appealing if you take the pictures in natural light and of different angles, and use funny or sweet captions to grab your viewers’ attention.

The key to using social media to your advantage is to make things as easy for your customers as possible, and focus on building trust with them.

E-Commerce Website

If you are a bricks-and-mortar business, having a robust website to sell your products is very important. Online shopping is now growing 13.5% year over year, and today there is really no alternative except e-commerce.

If you already have a website, consider giving the option of free shipping, discounts and bundles to grab the attention of your customers, and communicate these new changes through social media.

The top three platforms for you to create your website are Shopify, Wix and Big Commerce, but you must do the adequate research to choose which platform best represents how you’d like to move forward with your business.

Digital Main Street, a local organization that helps main street businesses go digital, provides a curated list of tools, guides and resources to help your business adopt technology and navigate COVID-19. Check out their starter kit – a collection of slides on key topics you should be considering during these times.

Digital Gift Cards

This is another easy way to reach your customers without having a preexisting website. Gift cards will ensure an immediate infusion of cash. Your customers will also be able to return to you for more business in the future.

If you have other existing e-commerce platforms, such as a social media page (or two), use it to encourage your customers to purchase a gift card now with an incentive of an additional  25% off, if they were to get it today and use it later. You can also run campaigns on purchasing those gift cards for friends and family to use later.

Websites like Neighbourhood allow you to use its platform for the gift cards if you do not already have other ways to publish them.

Try one or more of the above strategies to get the best results. Today’s conditions require you to adapt to the ever evolving way our world is moving, but keeping customers purchasing is something you can still do if you are open to find creative ways to get to them and to make it appealing.

Comment below if there are any tried and true strategies that are working for you, or what you feel we should write about next.

The Halton Small Business Centre will be offering its services by e-mail, phone and video conferencing. We are available to respond to your business questions and inquiries and encourage you to contact us at (905) 825-6000 ext. 7900 or smallbusiness@halton.ca

Follow us on our BlogTwitter and Facebook for updates and information.

For more information and to access resources, tools, templates, and seminar registration, please visit us online at www.halton.ca/smallbusiness.

Posted in COVID-19, Retail Sales, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment