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Small business resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Soft Flirt will be offering FREE local porch drop off with online purchases! Photo via / @softflirt

We’re in difficult and uncertain times amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Hitting very close to home, we’ve seen in recent days many businesses closing their doors by choice in an effort to help “flatten the curve” we’ve all been talking so much about.

There is so much at stake for any business, but especially small, independent businesses, when suspending regular open hours, activities or postponing/cancelling events, concerts, and plays are in question. However, we’re seeing a slew of local businesses diversifying their offerings, making suggestions as to how the community can support, and finding ways to serve their customers, whether or not it’s in person, or by some other means.

Originally scheduled to run March 18-22, The Palace Theatre's "Guys & Dolls" has been rescheduled for May 14 - 17, 2020.

This is true all over London, ON and of course, in the Old East Village, as many businesses head to social media to communicate exactly how they will continue to deliver services, whether it’s with intensified health and safety measures or selling exclusively online while offering home delivery.

Although the situation is rapidly changing, some businesses are being very vocal regarding their health and safety measures, particularly just how they are working to mitigate the possible impact of this virus.

On the Move Organics make very clear the extra safety precautions they're taking in order to serve their customers in the safest way possible. Image via Instagram / @onthemoveorganics

For some locations however, particularly restaurants and bars, closure has become a requirement in Ontario while take out and delivery options remain available. Others are ensuring to offer their customers every means possible to access their goods/services or will be rescheduling anticipated events. In many cases, said businesses have offered free shipping or in-person delivery, often making clear that they will happily leave items at the front door to maintain social distance.

Regardless of the route being taken at this time, the intention to help keep customers and staff safe is at the forefront, together with friendly suggestions as to how we can all help one another during this trying time.

Who wouldn't want this dropped at their doorstep? Photo via Instagram / @onthemoveorganics

Some of these suggestions include: purchasing online whether items are takeout, prepared meals, or services to use at a later date; monitoring social media and engaging with posts to help spread the word; purchasing a gift card to use in person at a later date; staying informed and positive throughout preventative measures and remaining patient while businesses determine an effective service delivery plan moving forward.

Of course, of utmost importance is the health and safety of every single person who could potentially be affected by the virus. But for those who have the ability and privilege and ability to shop local or make a donation to one of the many social services in OEV, and London generally, that’s one more step towards mitigating the range of impacts this situation could cause. The bottom line is, we’re all in this together, and every choice we make will help or hinder the efforts to swiftly make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OEV Grocer remains open with regular hours at this time. Photo via Facebook / @OEVgrocer

As the Middlesex Health Unit Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie stated “It is NOT time to panic. It is NOT time to shutter all businesses. But it is time to make carefully selected choices to reduce spread. Waiting is no longer an option.”

But luckily, the options available regarding how we can reduce spread while helping to support our local economy are plentiful, all brought to you by your friendly, independent, neighbourhood businesses. So, again, if able, support where you can, whether it’s the purchase of a meal delivery or a ‘like’ on Facebook, we can do our part, in a variety of ways, for the good of Londoners and beyond.

See our Business Contact List and, due to the rapidly changing situation, monitor individual social media channels for the most up to date information. And be sure to monitor local sources such as the Middlesex-London Health Unit,, and nationally,, for the most recent updates on our immediate area and beyond.

Feature photo via Etsy / @softflirt

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