The emergency closures are important in flattening the coronavirus curve in the community but have also come at a cost to many local businesses. Please support local businesses whenever your are able.
See also Long Point Chamber of Commerce business listings at www.portrowan-longpoint.org
By Shelly Wiebe
ON March 24th, the government of Ontario ordered the closure of non-essential workplaces. On April 3rd, further reductions were ordered. Effective and important in flattening the coronavirus curve, the closures have come at a cost to many businesses.
Lois Lounsbury, Long Point Chamber of Commerce secretary says “those deemed ‘non essential’ by the Ontario Government would be about 60% of our local Chamber businesses, however all the Chamber businesses are essential to our town and its success.”
Shear Creations Gift Shoppe
Colleen Stobbe, owner of Shear Creations Gift Shoppe said that when she heard she had to close her business due to COVID-19 restriction, her first reaction was fear and panic.
“All of my orders from the previous gift show had just arrived, with a full store of stock that all had to be paid for… it was stressful and terrifying.” Colleen said at the time of this interview, that businesses like hers (with no staff) had fallen through the cracks and didn’t qualify for assistance from the government. “I hope that changes!” said Colleen.
Colleen is thankful she can offer online shopping and has been promoting her store this way since the lock down. “I’ve been busy merchandising outfits and other items from the store and posting lots of pictures.”
“Its been a tough time for businesses and for everyone, but I have seen a lot of positives as well. People are really coming together to help each other and I am overwhelmed and truly humbled by the support of our community, as well as people that live out of town…we have an amazing little town and feel so blessed to be a part of it.” Search “Shear Creations Gift Shoppe” on Facebook or phone 519-586-3817 to speak with Colleen.
Cheshires on Bay
Cheshires on Bay is closed due to the restrictions but owner Stephanie Cheshire says that she makes it a priority to change the manikins in the window to keep it fresh for people out on walks or drives. “I’m posting pictures of the new windows online as they change. So far, I have done 14!”
Stephanie says that if someone likes something in the window, they can send her a message and she places it on the ‘hold’ rack for a future try-on.
This experience has prompted Stephanie to think outside of the box when restrictions are lifted and they will be offering the convenience of private shopping. “People can book a private shopping time which will prove to be helpful to the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.”
Stephanie says they will steam clothing that is tried on and sanitize surfaces between customers.
Cashmere & Cobwebs
Cindy Vanderstar, owner of Cashmere and Cobwebs (Port Rowan and Port Dover), Second to None Fashions, and C-Squared recently announced the closure of C2 due to the non-essential mandates put in place. “I had to find ways to cut the costs,” Cindy says adding, “As sad as it is to see the closure of C-Squared I have to save the bigger group as a whole.”
Offering items online, Cindy says that her sales are doing ok and that it proves online shopping can work for her business.
“We are offering $60 gift certificates for $50 as well as some value packs that can be purchased for $50.”
Cindy says she keeps reminding herself that we will come out of this. “It’s teaching us how strong and resilient we can be and I’m grateful for my fantastic customers who are really stepping up to help… I’m going to be doing something special for them when things get back to the new normal.”
Wiggan’s Foodland has installed markers to remind customers to keep six feet apart. To keep staff and customers safe, the store is asking that only one family person come to shop. Wiggan’s has free curbside pickup. Call your order to 519-586-7498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number and order details. You can pull up outside and call the store to let us know you have arrived – we will bring your order to your car.
Port Rowan Pharmasave
Port Rowan Pharmasave patrons are observing social distancing protocols as they wait their turn to pick up packages from the Bay Street store. One-way traffic to and away from the door has been set up using a clever adaptation of pool noodles duct taped to the railing with two metre spacing. Staff hand clients their order, phoned in ahead of time, and payment is taken via tapping debit or credit cards through the glass with staff holding the transaction machine up against the glass on the inside. Cash is still accepted, but preferred payment is touch-less tap.
Stark’s Golf Course encourages people to buy green packages and memberships… towards the day when we get the go ahead. The golf course hopes to be in the first wave of non-essentials that will be allowed to open with strict rules in place. Patti Stark says she “thinks it is a mental health and physical exercise priority… fresh air. Distress! Smash that ball!”
While many know Doerksen’s as a pet/wild bird/hardware-type store, it is still very much a farm store as well, supplying livestock feed and supplies plus live birds to area farmers. As such, it is an essential business. To support health efforts, purchases will need to be paid by debit or credit card. Pre-orders phoned to 519-586-3901 will be placed on the porch or brought to your vehicle, with the exception of items in the livestock building. Customer access to the store will be restricted. Regular store hours and Chick days will continue as scheduled.
Port Rowan Home Building Centre
Port Rowan Home Building Centre is open from 8 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 9 to 3 pm on Saturday at this time. The store is taking debit and credit card payments and allowing a limited number of customers in the store at a time. Phone orders to (519) 586-7336 or emailed orders accepted.
Dizzy Lizzys recently started selling items over the phone by VISA or Mastercard. Connie Hebbert is happy to offer free porch drop-offs within Port Rowan of items such as games, toys, charge cables and more.
Cattail Cove Interiors
Barb Morse, owner of Cattail Cove Interiors, says they are looking forward to reopening for curbside pickup soon.
At Frannie’s Attic “gift certificates are available,” says Jane Thomson. “We unfortunately don’t have online shopping yet, but are planning on something in the future.” Jane says if you are looking for something in particular you can contact them via Facebook Messenger and arrangements, adhering to social distancing protocol, can be made.
Port Rowan Post Office hours are currently 9:30 am to 4:15 pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays from 10 to 11 am. Only two people are allowed in the main post office at a time and the staff asks that the first hour of the business day be reserved for seniors.
Bayside Auto Service is open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. Appointments can be made at 226-206-2886 and leave your car in the parking lot with the keys in it, an employee will come out and retrieve your keys. The office is restricted while safe distancing is in place.
Rowan Mills Motors owner Nathan Block says they continue to serve the community for all automotive needs Monday to Friday 8 am to 5:30 pm. Call ahead to 519-586-3169 for appointment and be safe. If you don’t want to go out and need some work done, Rowan Mills can pick up and drop off your vehicle.
Esso Service Station is open Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm. Customers must remain six feet apart in the store.
Service Ontario office is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and Saturday 9 am to 12 noon. Only three people in the office at one time. You can also visit ServiceOntario.ca
The Boathouse Restaurant is currently open Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 to 730 pm. Specials are being offered each night. As demand increases, so will hours of operation. Call ahead to place orders 519-586-9316.
Andys Drive In is currently open Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Starting May 14, Summer Extended hours of Monday – Thursday 11 am to 8 pm and Friday – Sunday 11 am to 9 pm. Take-out only of full menu at www.andysdrivein.com. Call ahead to 519-875-2631 or come to Take Out window to place orders. Ice cream is available
Andy’s on Wheels (located at Jonny K’s Fresh Produce Market) opening May 1st, Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Starting May 14th open daily 11 am to 7 pm. Take-out only with new menu items offered. No picnic tables and asking to respect social distancing with other patrons.
Country Fork is open Wednesday and Thursday 8-4 pm; Friday and Saturday 8-8 pm; Sunday 8-2 pm. Picking up take-out orders or picking up baked goods limited to 3 customers at a time.
Old Port Convenience is open as usual but ask that people respect the social distancing regulations when in the store. Hours remain 8 – 8 daily.
At First Mates, all orders will be curbside pickup or delivery for a fee from 4 pm until close. Open 11-7 Thursday to Monday. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the time being. Online ordering at www.firstmates.ca with full menu.