With many locally owned businesses in downtown Peterborough temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) is doing what it can to support them.
Many downtown retailers, restaurants, cafés, pubs, and services have temporarily closed their brick-and-mortar locations due to the pandemic, mainly to protect their customers and employees by practising physical distancing or because the Ontario government has ordered them to close.
While many are serving their customers online, that doesn’t mean their brick-and-mortar expenses stop. Rent and utilities must still be paid, along with the wages of any employees who are continuing to work — including the business owners themselves, who have to pay their own mortgages and buy groceries like the rest of us.
To help downtown businesses weather the storm, the DBIA has launched supportdowntownptbo.ca, a new website where people can buy gift cards and certificates from 59 downtown Peterborough businesses.
Even if you can’t redeem them right away, by purchasing gift cards and certificates you can help businesses with their cash flow needs to cover current expenses. This helps give locally owned businesses a little breathing space until they can fully reopen and hopefully make up for lost business.
“Buying gift cards is a great way to show your favourite local shops that you still support them and that you’ll be back when they reopen,” says DBIA executive director Terry Guiel. “It gives them a financial boost at a very critical time.”
If you purchase gift cards and certificates from supportdowntownptbo.ca, they will be mailed (or emailed if electronic) to you.
As an added incentive, for a limited time the DBIA is offering extra “downtown money” (gift certificates you can redeem at any participating downtown business) when you purchase gift certificates through the site.
For every $50 in gift cards and certificates purchased, the DBIA will send customers $25 in downtown money.
The DBIA has a limited amount of downtown money available for this promotion, so shoppers are limited to eight $25 downtown money gift certificates each.
And don’t forget: not all downtown businesses are temporarily closed because of COVID-19. Businesses that are considered essential workplaces can choose to remain open (although with some restrictions), some restaurants are offering delivery and takeout, and other businesses have online shopping (with some offering free local delivery).