As infection rates fluctuate across Canada, retailers are facing varying degrees of mandatory local and provincial restrictions — everything from limited in-person access, to reduced capacity, to outright closure.
And the path forward — which businesses are approved to safely reopen, and when — remains unclear across the country.
Perhaps the only thing for certain is the need to stay informed and plan ahead. We found several excellent online resources that suggest questions your business needs to ask, outline preparations you can make today, and offer reassurance that you are not alone in your quest for solutions.
1. Your Local And Provincial Government Sites
Start by regularly checking COVID-19 updates on your civic and provincial websites. You’ll find the most authoritative and relevant information for your area, from current infection rates, to updates on public health orders and restrictions, to support available. Many of these sites also include helpful links specifically for business and retail. Once infection rates begin to stabilize or fall, this is also where you will find detailed reopening plans for your city and province.
2. Retail Council of Canada
Canada’s largest retail trade association has created a comprehensive online hub called
COVID-19 Resources for Retailers that is dedicated to helping Canadian retailers navigate through the pandemic crisis. It offers an interactive chart of regulations and health and safety guidelines for retailers who are reopening or continuing to open during COVID-19. There’s a Recovery Toolkit with multiple templates and Retail Recovery Checklists as well as information on the POST Promise,
“a nationally recognized symbol of a business’ commitment to doing their part to protect their customers’ and employees’ health and safety.”
As well, there is an extensive health and safety section geared specifically to best practices for retail that includes guidelines, checklists, fact sheets, video and posters.
3. Retail Recovery: Forecasting New Opportunities in a Reimagined Environment
This article by Tony Gray, Director of Retail Operations & Supply Chain with Tata Consultancy Services, is a clear-eyed and informative approach to “understand[ing] and anticipat[ing] what is happening within the Retail ecosystem … by look[ing] at these four dimensions: economic conditions, social preferences, state of supply, and individual needs and behaviors.”
4. Reopening: Guidance for the Retail Industry
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is "Creating knowledge to protect worker health.” Although geared to U.S. retailers, the AIHA has branches in Canada. On its website, the AIHA offers a wide-ranging document called Reopening: Guidance for the Retail Industry that “offers practical guidance for retail store owners to implement interim measures to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. It addresses [key questions] and provides tips for retail employees and customers.”
You can access this free guide as a PDF by going to the COVID-19 Resource Center page on the AIHA website and searching for Reopening: Guidance for the Retail Industry.
Because BOOM works with more than 100 Retail Brand Partners across Canada, we understand the challenges and hurdles facing small- and medium-sized retailers during this pandemic — and how those challenges will continue as businesses work to reopen. By taking the time now to prepare, you’ll be better able to adjust and adapt as you welcome back customers.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been helping top retail brands from across Canada connect with our 120,000+ consumer Members through BOOM’s multi-channel platform. We’d be happy to show you how — give us a call at 403-441-8800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more here.