The recent bombshell (or as Dr. Henry put it “circuit-breaker”) was a blow to local restaurants that were already treading water.
Especially so as the Smithers Local Health Area has been out-performing the rest of the province in general with low infection rates of COVID-19.
In fact, as B.C. is setting new record highs in recent weeks, the North as a region is seeing a decline in case numbers and the vaccine rollout is way ahead of schedule with all adult members of most communities outside the main urban population centres already eligible for appointments.
It raises the question of whether the provincial health officer should be taking a more regional approach to her health orders.
Nevertheless, we are where we are and it is a problem for our dining establishments.
That being said, it is heartening to see people stepping up to help our eateries in their time of need.
Just as one example among many, Glacier Toyota is now buying lunches for their staff, spreading the love (and, perhaps more importantly, the cash) around to different restaurants each day.
This, of course, is the community we have come to know in Smithers.
Back in the spring of 2020, when businesses were shut down for the first time, Smithers shoppers led the North in per capita spending on a Northern Development Initiative Trust “Shop Local” gift card promotion.
So, kudos to all those businesses helping businesses in Smithers and the area.
This is also a good opportunity to remind all residents just how important all of our local businesses, not just restaurants, are to the fabric of our community.
If you have money to spend, look to your neighbours first.
Speaking of which, it is often overlooked that The Interior News is also a local business, one that routinely supports all manner of community organizations, causes, local amenities and other businesses.
For us, print space is money and, as an example, our “Support Local” advertising campaign is partially underwritten by the newspaper.
Subscriptions are available for the low price of only $40.50 ($30 for seniors) per year.
Let’s all do whatever we can to make sure the town we had pre-pandemic is the town we have on the other side of this thing.