Summerside's COVID-19 Task Force aimed to help businesses during the pandemic has launched a new online Summerside-area business directory under the banner of Forward Summerside.
The task force was announced this spring and includes the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Summerside Inc., Explore Summerside and the city's economic development department.
The new online directory can be found at forwardsummerside.ca.
The organizations created this directory to help both business patrons and business owners. For patrons, the directory helps them understand which businesses are open, which plan to open, and how their operations are impacted by COVID-19, all in a convenient under-one-roof website. They can browse listed businesses or search by category.
“This directory provides an easy-to-search platform to meet the immediate need of our business community to communicate their current availability while offering a centralized location to allow us to support local. We encourage all local businesses to utilize this directory to service customers and clients," said Tara Maddix, Executive Director of Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners can submit their information, such as services, hours of operation, and any special instructions related to COVID-19, like online shopping, curbside pickup, delivery, or store capacity. They can also link to their websites or social media channels.
City councillors Brian McFeely and Justin Doiron co-chair the task force.
“Our collective goal is to address the short-term challenges of our business community and to also ensure there is a long-term legacy of this collaboration," said Doiron.
The group is working towards both post-COVID-19 and longer-term steps to help the community navigate the current climate.
"Resilience is about strengthening our community's response and adaptation to challenges like COVID- 19. Downtown Summerside is a strong, resilient community and we are ready to adapt to this challenge," said Angie Arsenault, interim executive director of Downtown Summerside Inc.
"We want people to think and engage locally and this directory will help them to do so."