Municipality offers tangible support to businesses
For area businesses who are heavily dependent on visitors to our area, the pandemic shutdown was a major blow. Amanda Murray, Clearview Township’s Community Culture and Tourism Coordinator says her department, along with the Creemore BIA and the Clearview Chamber of Commerce, is currently promoting two hashtags, #Smalltownhospitality and #Localforlunch. The campaign encourages people to enjoy the rural charm of area restaurants, pubs and cafes and share their experiences via social media.
Stop in to a store along Creemore’s Mill Street, and odds are you’ll notice more of Murray’s work. Murray spearheaded development of a tool kit to help local businesses adapt during Phase 1 of reopening. Her team waded through hundreds of guidelines from the province and distilled them down to a more manageable format for business owners who were already feeling overwhelmed.
More than 100 Business Reopening Kits were distributed throughout Clearview. Each contained a 4 litre jug of hand sanitizer, some non-medical face masks, floor stickers to encourage social distancing, and signage promoting a new safe and welcoming shopping experience. The kits, valued at approximately $110 each were distributed free of charge to businesses. Those who made curbside pickup available were also offered A-frame street signs. Murray says the township recognized the need to provide tangible support to businesses and their employees, and to reassure visitors that there is still much to see and do in Clearview.
Since March, the events page on the Clearview Township site has been repurposed to highlight things like on-line tutorials and “Ask the Expert” sessions. While all township events up to and including the Small Halls Festival are cancelled for this year, the events page will be updated to include listings from community groups as they resume activities.
In a typical year, Clearview Township would be working in cooperation with the Southern Georgian Bay Tourism and the County of Simcoe to attract visitors to the area. This year, with pandemic travel restrictions, the focus has been hyper-local. Area residents are being encouraged to explore their own back yard, and take advantage of the amazing opportunities for hiking, biking and bird watching. Looking ahead to fall, Murray says the next big priority will be supporting a safe and welcoming experience at local rec centres as they reopen.