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Get to know Prince George from a local point of view.

Man and cashier in paint store

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Support local where and when you can

I had high hopes for 2020. It marked the last year of my 20’s and that fact finally motivated me to try to accomplish some of what I promised myself I would before I reached 30. What can I say, deadlines motivate me?

So, in December I finally joined a program that challenged me to live strenuously and develop essential skills I’ve always wanted to learn. The first two months of this year were transformative. My priorities finally felt right. Then this pandemic hit, and the priorities of our world suddenly changed. Non-essential businesses were closed, and we were told to stay home in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

I have great admiration for those who take that step of turning their passion into a business. I’ve always described Prince George as a community that has at least one of pretty much anything you could want or need. I’m hopeful that we, as a community, can come together to support local business where and when we can so my statement about PG remains true after this pandemic is over.

Make the social connection

Buckley the dog after getting groomed

I’m not a fan of social media. I’m not against it. I have many social media accounts but I’m more of a passive observer than an engaged user. I’ve approached the concept of “following” with extreme reservation, especially when it comes to brands or businesses. Throughout this pandemic, however, I’m discovering the value in at least checking out the social feeds of businesses I like.

Before this pandemic started, my dog desperately needed a trip to the groomers. We were sure it would be closed. I mean, I can’t go get my unbridled mane cut so why would the dog? We called and found out that it had, in fact, closed. Since the dog situation was getting pretty bad, my wife decided to check the Facebook page of the groomer. We were pleased to see a post about its plans to reopen with new physical distancing restrictions in place. Now, he’s looking like his handsome self again and I’m happy to know I’m supporting a local groomer we’ve gone to since moving back to PG in 2017.

Make the social connection. A business you assume to be closed may be operating in innovative ways throughout this pandemic.

When in doubt, pick up the phone

Skip the Dishes delivery

To support local restaurants, I’ve used Skip the Dishes a few more times than normal these past few months. It’s a good service that, even before physical distancing, encouraged a delivery experience with limited interaction. The selection of restaurants opens a fairly broad dining experience to you.

But I love Chinese food. And, after two months, I was missing the Chinese combo #5 from my favourite restaurant. It wasn’t on Skip the Dishes, didn’t really have a social presence, and had a website that looked exactly the same pre-pandemic as post. So, I gave them a call. Anticipation mounted as the phone rang over and over. My dreams of Chinese combo #5 were fading when, finally, a person picked up. Like an idiot, I stumbled to ask if they still offered delivery. They did, and in about an hour I was eating that delicious delicious Chinese combo #5.

Like me, some businesses aren’t into the age of social media. When in doubt, pick up the phone. You never know.

Be part of the solution

Support PG advertisements

While writing this blog, the #SupportPG campaign launched. The website, supportpg.ca, centralizes COVID-19 supports for business and gives Prince George residents information about how to support local business during this pandemic.

The “Open Now” directory is a helpful resource showing not only what businesses are open but how services can be accessed. Businesses, get on this directory so residents know how to support you. Prince George, let’s use this directory to make sure these businesses can weather this pandemic.

We’re a community known for coming together to overcome challenges. Unfortunately, we literally can’t do that right now. But that doesn’t mean the touching figurative message of “coming together” can’t still be true. We can all be part of the solution.

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