Ways to help people and businesses who are hurting

Rebooting recovery

Two songs have been swirling through my head in recent days—Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, and, at the opposite end of the musical spectrum, Dolly Parton’s Here You Come Again.

The recovery refrain is once again on repeat for the hospitality industry. To coin a phrase, the hits just keep on comin’. And that, just when we were gently and thoughtfully getting back on track, with the pandemic in the rearview mirror and gradually fading into the horizon.

Conditions here in B.C.’s Interior will hopefully improve in short order. As with prior crises, our communities have rapidly come together in gratitude to gather donations, start fundraisers, open our homes to others, foster frightened animals and much more. But you surely already knew that. And you know we’ll do it again.

So, not to sound like a broken record, how can we help?

Hotels, motels, campgrounds and other short-stay accommodators will take a hit, even though their spaces will be full of first responders and evacuees. The secondary income from food services and special events will likely drop.

If friends or family were coming here to a local resort, how about suggesting they purchase a gift certificate with a part of their refund for a future stay? Why not, as many of us did when restaurants had a hard pivot back in 2020, pick up a gift certificate or two and give it to a neighbour, or to someone who’s volunteering in an emergency social services centre.

Wine clubs, craft beer subscriptions and gift boxes loaded with local products have picked up steam in recent years for both locals and guests to our region for their convenience and (often) discounts. Renew yours if it has, or they have, lapsed, and encourage those who were coming here in these last couple of weeks of summer to sign up or get a one-time shipment of what they would have tasted if they were here.

A number of chefs and restaurants are opening their doors or putting their catering services into high gear for evacuees and firefighters to come in for a discounted or free meal. If one of your favourite spots is doing this, head there for lunch or dinner. When the cheque comes, if you are able, ask if you can leave a bit more money on the table (in other words, pay a little extra), to pick up the tab of the next evacuee or first responder.

This is not the end of summer anyone wanted but let’s give it one more round of being tourists in our own town.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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