Opinion: Any tool a good tool to help re-open

By Mike Williscraft

If there is one thing I appreciate it is creativity.

That trait is at the cornerstone of any entrepreneur’s foundation because they have to think quick, make strong, calculated decisions and be able to think outside the box to stay in the game.

So when Drew Gall called me last week saying he had turned his company on a dime – retooling to produce plastic face shields from high-end cabinetry – I was hooked.

The fact he was super to work with made the Town of Grimsby/Grimsby Downtown Improvement Area Board venture that much easier to nail down in two days.

As you will likely have noted as you worked to the back of this edition, good reader, we (Town and DIA) have purchased 800 shields to help prepare our business community as things – HOPEFULLY – continue to open up.

For the DIA, which I can tell you is always seeking ways we can support service providers as well as retailers and restaurateurs, this is a great opportunity.

Everyone is so conscious of the task at hand, taking care of employees as well as all customers, having face shields available is a natural.

Personally, I like the look of the face shield over a mask as you can still see the person you are dealing with and, for those who have clientele who may be a bit hard of hearing, the shield will allow them to still read lips while being safe.

Quite likely the biggest thing any business which interacts with the public will need to overcome is re-establishing confidence for the consumer – not in the individual business, but in venturing out their door in the first place.

The relaxing of stay home guidelines will come slowly, but there will be a point where all levels of government will need to let go fully and step on the gas.

When COVID-19 introduced itself to the world, nobody knew a thing. It was brand new. There are still many things we don’t know, but some of the dots have been connected.

In particular, enough is known that seniors and long-term care facilities should be locked down and/or quarantined until a vaccine is in place. That is quite likely the only way to avoid afflicting an exorbitantly high death rate on those seniors and those with pre-existing conditions.

Yes, there are deaths in other demographics and it is certainly not that any number of deaths would ever be considered a satisfactory risk, but the world cannot live off government assistance on all levels indefinitely. That is simply an economic reality for all of us to face.

So, yes, there will be a new norm, and there will be things we can (and should) do to limit the opportunity for spreading the disease. Face shields for business operators and employees is one very small piece in what will surely be a very complex puzzle, so we are very pleased to make them available.

While consumer confidence is one pillar in any level of success when the grand re-opening post-COVID-19 materializes.

So, too, is area residents simply knowing who is open and what they are up to.

Town of Lincoln – along with the Beamsville BIA – has developed a directory style website, shoplincoln.ca

Rebuilding will be about varied tools needed to slowly put things back together and a directory such as that is a solid tool which should be in any business community’s workbench.

Grimsby DIA has had its directly in place for many years at its friendlybynature.com website. Every business in Grimsby’s downtown core (which the board is aware of) is listed in there…and if you notice anyone we are missing please let me know – mike@wn3.ca – and I will get that rectified asap.

Each listing in both websites acts as a flow-through portal redirecting potential consumers either to a business’s Facebook or other social media page, or directly to a website. Consumers can contact each business directly or, if they have e-commerce on their own site, they can shop immediately.

Grimsby DIA’s page also has a “Special Offers” link where residents can click to see any special promotions which DIA members are currently running. This feature will be getting ramped up in the near future as retailers and restaurants open their doors once again.

As noted, we are always looking for details. Feel free to call, 289-235-9500 or email me, mike@wn3.ca
any time.

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