Residents urged to support local businesses during Victoria Day long weekend

CHEK

It’s another long weekend under COVID-19.

Instead of finding the best view of the Victoria Day Parade, or the ideal campsite, we are at home.

That’s because officials have asked us to stay in our local communities.

As a result, some Victorians got a little creative on Saturday.

“Bike rides [and] we might play some tennis, the tennis courts are open,” one woman told CHEK News.

“Maybe some Netflix and video games,” added her son.

“Just looking at nature, listening to the peacocks. I mean, it’s beautiful out here,” said one couple, adding. “It’s not a hardship, we’re lucky here in Victoria.”

But with the parade cancelled, many avoiding going out and tourism at a standstill businesses are feeling it.

The Beacon Drive-In is one of the stops that would usually be flooded with business this long weekend.

“We usually have on 20 staff per shift, and our sales are crazy, we usually stay open to 10:30 at night with line ups all day and all night,” said Janet Reynolds, general manager of the Beacon Drive-In.

Luckily some locals are stepping in to fill the gap.

Many businesses say spending your bucks locally and having a staycation is the key to get them through this weekend and the rest of the summer.

“We need our local support,” said Reynolds. “Through the summer especially this summer, because we count on tourists to get us through the summer.”

The Shine Cafe would usually see both their locations packed Monday with parade-goers.

“It is always a big weekend for us, it’s kind of a kickoff of summer,” said Rachel McBride, front of house manager for the Shine Cafe.

“We are probably serving at each restaurant 250 people or so, lineups, thirty, forty, fifty minutes for tables.”

But they pivoted to take out and delivery, and agree locals are a key to everyone’s success.

“Think about what you would be sad to see gone,” added McBride.

“There is so much in the Greater Victoria area that I think a lot of us take for granted. I think finding those spots, finding new places, finding old places to support them is going to be really important this summer.”

So this weekend, instead of heading up or off the Island, maybe just head around the corner.

ALSO READ: Local businesses upset paving to close Johnson Street Bridge Sunday

Julian Kolsut

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