One week after Phase 2 reopening Victoria businesses see customer traffic pick up

WatchOne week after the province launched Phase 2 of its COVID-reopening plan, more Victoria businesses are opening and the sidewalks are busier.

One week after the provincial government launched Phase 2 of its COVID-reopening plan, downtown Victoria businesses are starting to see more customers through their doors.

It was only its second day open but the tables inside Victoria’s Jam Cafe were full Wednesday morning and there was even a lineup beginning to form outside.

“Everyone’s just glad we’re reopening,” said Jam Cafe owner Jim Walmsley.

The popular brunch place is no stranger to lineups but inside they can only seat about 35 per cent of the customers they normally can due to the required distancing between tables.

One week after the provincial government launched its Phase 2 COVID-reopening plan, more and more businesses are starting to turn their open signs back on, prop their doors open, and wait for customers to return.

READ MORE: Retailers begin to reopen as B.C. moves into Phase 2

Kaboodles Toy store on Government Street opened for the first time Tuesday morning and within the first hour a handful of customers had already come in.

“Everybody seems to be kind of just very kind and patient with us because this is our first morning being open and we too are learning and we’re a little bit klunky and perhaps a little bit rusty,” said owner Teri Hustins.

The sidewalks downtown were noticeably busier than they were a week ago as people returned to work and to shop.

“We’ll see it get busier as the next few weeks proceed,” said Downtown Victoria Business Association Executive Director Jeff Bray.

But Bray says it isn’t going to be easy for businesses for a while.

“Your best night now looks like one of your slowest nights so this is going to be a marathon not a sprint, it’s why it’s so important for shopping local,” said Bray.

But he says most businesses he’s heard from do plan on reopening after more than two months of being shuttered.

“We are resilient, we’re incredibly creative and we’re hard working so I think you’ll see a lot of the business community, we’re going to morph and mutate but we’ll eventually all have our doors back open soon,” said Hustins.


April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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