In addition to the Provincial Government announcing its phased relaunch strategy for the re-opening of businesses across Alberta on April 30, London Drugs is lending a helping hand to struggling retailers.
The company is offering up shelf space in select stores to local small businesses that have had to close their doors due to COVID-19 and may not be permitted to re-open for some time.
“This is a really hard time for many small businesses, and we are in a unique position in these challenging times where we can really help out,” said Clint Mahlman, president and COO of London Drugs.
“As a 75-year-old Canadian owned and operated company, we have always supported fellow Canadian businesses and now is the time more than ever, to come together. As an essential service, we are here to help our local small businesses while also providing an opportunity for customers to pick up their favourite local items and support their favourite local companies.”
According to the Covid-19 City of Airdrie Business Impacts & Supports Survey that was conducted from March 25 to 30, 44 per cent of storefront businesses owners say they can’t manage expenses now or can only meet expenses for one month without assistance. When asked how COVID-19 has affected their business, the majority of respondents said the biggest impact has been loss of sales.
“The number of local businesses that said they can’t manage their expenses is very concerning,” said Sara Chamberlain, City of Airdrie team leader of Economic Development.
“What we do know, however, is that the picture in Airdrie is similar across Alberta and Canada. We compared what Airdrie businesses reported with other surveys and our numbers are almost the same as those in other cities and provinces. The reality is many businesses are in a very precarious position with their cash flow.”
As an essential service, London Drugs stores are open and have the ability to help small businesses that have had to close their retail stores stay afloat.
In select locations, London Drugs will be transforming its centre aisles into Local Central, a dedicated space to help local businesses sell their products.
Airdrie businesses are invited to apply as Local Central aisles will be launching at select stores for now, and organizers hope to grow the program once they determine the need for the service.
“Whether you sell coffee, local honey, or your restaurant’s graphic T-shirts, London Drugs is here to help,” said Mahlman.
Small business owners can click here to learn if their products qualify and apply to be part of London Drugs Local Central.