Rossland businesses are adapting their businesses models to help cope with financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
Sarah Grimwood, owner of Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works in Rossland, said she’s been doing more business outside her physical store to keep up with sales.
“I’ve put a sign up on my door to let people know that while I’m temporarily closed to the public, I’m still available for online shopping and by appointments via phone,” said Grimwood.
“I’ve also let people know that I’m available for contactless delivery to their homes.”
To ensure her business is sustainable, Grimwood said people must make purchases of $50 or more for her to make deliveries outside of Rossland.
Making shorter deliveries by foot has also saved the business money, she says.
Grimwood said she’s started a new pick-up service for customers outside her home studio to increase business.
“The service has proven really popular because instead of people having to wait for deliveries, they can just come to the studio to pick things up,” said Grimwood.
“I’ve actually created a pick-up box so people know where to collect the items.”
Angela Goertzen, owner of Delicious Baby and Toddler Boutique, said she’s increased her social media engagement with customers to boost sales.
“Social media for us is the big outlet right now. We’re making sure that we’re posting online every day and getting back to everyone’s messages on social media,” said Goertzen.
“I’m finding that I’m communicating with people more on social media than email right now.”
Goertzen said she’s been using social media to increase business at her physical store.
“Even though my store is temporarily closed, I’m normally there a few hours a week to do work,” said Goertzen.
“Before I arrive, I just post on social media to let people know when I’m going to be there. That lets people stop by the store if they want to purchase something or pick something up.”
Since Goertzen also owns Mountain Baby in Nelson, she’s made deliveries throughout the West Kootenay while commuting between her two stores. Goertzen said she often stops at Castlegar and Bonnington to make deliveries.
Not all West Kootenay businesses are coping with the COVID-19 crisis equally well. At least two Rossland business have are struggling to stay afloat financially.
Two Nakusp businesses said they’re also struggling to survive in the current economic climate.