Downtown Fergus BIA: ‘We’re open for business’

A blue and white 'Open' sign hangs in a window of a store
The Downtown Fergus BIA wants the community to know that many businesses are still open right now. Photo by Pxhere.

There are over 180 businesses that are part of the Downtown Fergus Business Improvement Area (BIA), and many of them are experiencing struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fergus BIA wants the community to know that majority of the stores downtown are still operating.

Kimberly Jefferson, chair of the Downtown Fergus BIA and owner of Joanie’s Crafts and Gifts, said a lot of the businesses are receiving phone calls or emails asking if they’re open.

“Melinda [Croft] has been setting up our website to state what businesses and restaurants are open, who’s available for delivery, who’s doing curbside, how to order, websites, phone numbers, all the information you need to get a hold of us,” Jefferson said.

Melinda Croft, co-owner of One and Only Handmade Marketplace, who’s also on the Fergus BIA committee, said because things are changing so rapidly, their listing on their website hasn’t been updated for the individual businesses.

“We’ve been using our about downtown Fergus tab to go to, and listing current hours and availabilities [there], Croft said.

Croft said that it’s all been broken down for people to easily read and understand.

Jefferson said she thinks a lot of the business owners are feeling stressed.

“They don’t know what’s coming because it doesn’t have a definite end date, everything seems to be hovering in the air, and we’re just trying to raise awareness that people are open downtown, and I don’t think a lot of people in the area really realize that we are here,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said the public can help local businesses right now through the support of social media.

“If it’s local people in the community that are posting, and sharing our social media posts that get outside the community, so then we can have people investing or spending money in the community that aren’t [living] here,” Jefferson said.

Croft stressed businesses are open, maybe not in the same capacity as they would like to be, but many are still operating.

“We’re very fortunate that a lot of businesses downtown are still open, there’s a lot of other areas where businesses have had to close, and you know, we’re just trying to make it through a second [COVID-19] wave, and really get through it,” Croft said.

Croft said any way that people can support local is appreciated such as, ordering take-out from restaurants, or picking up small gifts for family and friends from any of the many unique shops downtown, and around the area.

“And remembering that before you go to order somewhere else like Amazon, please support local first,” Croft said.

For more information: https://www.downtownfergus.com/about/

Kimberly Jefferson, chair of the Downtown Fergus Business Improvement Area: 

 

Melinda Croft, co-owner of One and Only Handmade Marketplace: