The District of Sicamous offices, which contain the chamber of commerce and visitor centre, are closed to the public due to COVID-19. The chamber put together a directory with information on businesses have remained open. (File photo)

Chamber steps up for Sicamous businesses trying to stay open

Organization creates directory of changes businesses have made in response to COVID-19

Sicamous’ businesses are staying open to serve residents whenever possible while taking precautions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As recommendations from provincial and federal health authorities placed further restrictions on businesses, and efforts at social distancing led more people to isolate in their homes, the Sicamous Chamber of Commerce began putting together a directory of businesses endeavouring to remain open.

Chamber executive director Sheila Devost said it became apparent in late March that the spreading virus would have major impacts on the business community. She asked for information on hours of operation and other changes from all Sicamous businesses so residents would have a central place to see which once are remaining open.

Read More: Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Read More: Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Along with collecting practical information on hours of operation, Devost said her search led her to business people who were just happy to have someone to discuss the uncertain future with.

Despite the impact on their businesses and families, Devost said all the owners she spoke with are taking a safety-first approach to the virus.

The businesses which have been able to stay open are adapting and finding ways to conform with social distancing recommendations. Some are operating at reduced hours and others have limited the number of customers allowed in their stores.

While the local economy was finding ways to keep going, Devost said measures to reduce the spread of the virus created abnormal conditions, like not being able to stop and chat with someone in the grocery store.

She said some businesses face unique challenges, leading them to take extra precautions to ensure the health of employees.

Read More: First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Read More: UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

Devost said while Sicamous can’t currently live up to its reputation as a tourist town, she thinks it will be the perfect place for people to rest and rejuvenate when the crisis is at an end. She said even after social distancing measures are no longer being recommended, air travel and border crossings may be restricted or unappealing for some time, likely leading people to seek getaways closer to home.

While the tourists will certainly be back one day, Devost said it is important that local residents support the local businesses that have been able to stay open to service them whenever possible.

The full directory of open businesses, including details of their social distancing practices and updated hours of operation, is available on the chamber of commerce’s website. The chamber has also compiled a COVID-19 page where they have collected links to up to date information from the provincial government, the BC Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read