This is normally a busy time of the year for Relay Event Rentals in Courtenay as people book for spring and summer events like parties, banquets and weddings, but business has been hit hard since COVID-19 hit.

“Well in the first few days it was $10,000,” said Coleen Anderson, Owner of Relay Event Rentals. “From there who knows where it could go because we have about $200,000 in bookings already for the summer so that’s what it could come down to which is the bulk of our work for the year.”

She’s already laid off FIVE staff members and doesn’t know if she’ll be hiring extra people at all for the summer like she normally does. The summer is her busy wedding rental season and two have cancelled already.

“We had everything cancel from firemen banquets to fundraisers. We’ve had some weddings, we’ve had some birthdays, family reunions, that kind of stuff,” said Anderson.

The biggest cancellation so far is the annual Ducks Unlimited banquet and auction in early April that would have raised about $75,000.

The cancellation highlights how charities are being hurt by Covid-19.

“It’s going to hurt the bottom line for Ducks Unlimited Canada,” said Comox Valley Chair Greg Sawchuk. “Our volunteers are disappointed because they enjoy volunteering and it’s gratifying to raise funds for a good cause.”

He says Ducks Unlimited will look at rescheduling the banquet this year but some charities might not be able to.

“There are lots of other societies that have fundraisers and they need the funding to keep their organization afloat,” added Sawchuk.

Dean Stoltz