On the other hand, I’m getting messages like this from local business owners:
Many local eateries are voluntarily moving to close dine-in (and do take-out) in order to flatten the curve and encourage social distancing.
Vernon restaurants, bars, cafes, and services are hurting. 💔
Daily revenues are already down 50% or more. 😳
Most will have to lay off their staff.
Many have decided to suspend operations.
Some likely won’t make it through this.
In the best of times, main street businesses operate on slim margins. They’re all scrambling to figure this out.
The government has promised some help, but none of them knows what that means.
We need to help!
Here’s what we can do right now to help:
Order gift cards online.
Order take-out as much as you can (if they’re still open).
Encourage them. Tell them you care.
Here are some businesses I’ve been in touch with, and ways they’re asking for help:
Andrew, at Ratio Coffee & Pastry
“Please, if you can, tell people to pre-order donuts for tomorrow (order form will be up shortly). Also, we’re going to try to do online pizza orders (for pickup). You can still take drinks to go right now!”
“Please tell folks to grab cans UnderGround Kombucha when they shop. We are in Askews, Butcher boys, Safeway, Nature’s Fare, Railtrail cafe, Quality Greens, Choices and Lakeview markets. Also, we will be selling bombers and new growler starting tomorrow by request for pickup in the afternoon.”
“If you are in a position to order food to go or delivery, please do so not just from us, but from all the remaining restaurants in town! You can also buy gift cards now that you know you will use later. The government has announced funding to support businesses but no information on how to access this has been released as of yet, so we are all hoping to weather the storm.”
“Starting tomorrow we will be offering a special takeout menu for family-style, healthy, local food. We will offer delivery or even pick up out the back door. We are taking so many extra precautions to keep everyone safe.”
In a few weeks, North Okanagan residents will go to referendum to vote on borrowing $25 million towards the $40 million cost to build an art gallery, museum and performance space that will let us appreciate culture and heritage, and access far more exhibitions and programs.
Between now and Oct. 20, we need all the help we can get spreading the word about all the incredible ways this cultural centre will benefit Greater Vernon.
Please help however you can:
Here’s a chance to play a part in changing the course of Greater Vernon’s future and gain a beautiful downtown building with endless benefits for our community.
Can you lend some of your time and talents for this turning point?
As we prepare to launch our campaign, we’re looking for volunteers to help with:
Communication & information technology
And soon, just about everything else! Even a few hours would mean so much and go such a long way.
I was just looking through my records, and it’s been 3 years since our last poll. A lot has happened since then – those were the days where only 5-6 people would show up for Geek Beers. Definitely time for an update. 😉
There’s a lot of interest in Vernon’s tech scene from community leaders, governments, and outside investors. If you can give me an idea what you want, I can refer that to them.
Stefan and Pearl (of the Naked Pig) gave me a secret tour of the soon to be opened Marten Brewing Co. (coming in early 2015).
Folks: this place is going to unreal. It’s WAY bigger than you imagine, and their attention to detail is amazing. You’ll be able to watch them brew the beer (the brewery is the centrepiece of the pub).
“Coworking Spaces are places that can facilitate the act of coworking. I like to think of coworking as a kind of club, and a coworking space as the clubhouse. Without a club that people want to be a part of, the clubhouse doesn’t have a reason to exist.” – Alex Hillman
Are you interested in a permanent co-working space / community in Vernon?
Hootsuite, a 4-year-old social media dashboard for businesses, has closed a $165 million round of funding at an undisclosed valuation. The round was led by Insight Venture Partners, a seasoned New York-based firm that pumped late-stage money into Tumblr and still holds a substantial stake in Twitter.
The town of Olds, Alberta (8,500 residents) has a community owned ISP called O-Net. This week, O-Net made an announcement:
On Thursday, the board of O-Net gave approval for residents to get access to a full gigabit or 1,000 megabits per second of bandwidth for the same price that they currently pay for a guaranteed download speed of 100 megabits per second — $57 to $90 a month, depending on whether they have bundled their internet with TV and phone service.
This is really progressive thinking for a municipality. They’re a rural community who responded to business owners who said they’d leave if Olds didn’t improve internet speeds. The town stepped up, and spent between $13-$14 million laying their own cable, and building their own ISP (they did this with the help of grant money).
Vernon, BC needs to be thinking this way.
The city has identified technology as a growth sector. To be a technology leader, it’s going to need broadband speed. Currently, the fastest consumer internet I’ve been able to find in Vernon is 50 MBPS. The internet in Olds is 20x faster.
I think there’s opportunity for local businesses to help pay for this. A dedicated 1 gigabit connection for a business is $5,000 / month in Olds. To achieve $1 million in annual revenues, you’d only need 17 businesses to sign-up.