Supporting small business during COVID-19

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Supporting small business during COVID-19
Cornwall's Downtown.

CORNWALL, Ontario – A member of the Cornwall community has started an initiative to support local businesses in Cornwall and the surrounding area, while the community practices social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic is ongoing, businesses can expect a drop in their walk-in traffic and some businesses in the Cornwall community have closed outright for the time being.

To help these businesses survive, Kelly Bergeron has started an online gift certificate program where potential customers can buy gift certificates for some of their favourite businesses in Cornwall and SD&G, redeemable when social distancing measures are lifted and a level of normalcy returns.

“Due to the challenges we will be facing over the next while, many of our local businesses may suffer greatly due to social distancing, isolation, and quarantines,” reads a statement on the gift certificate website. “We want to support businesses by allowing customers to purchase gift cards to use in the future. Let’s do our best to help those in our community.”

There are nearly 100 businesses that have signed up for the service. Bergeron stated that she will be making no money off of this venture, but instead felt the need to do her part during the ongoing pandemic.

“Using technology to solve problems is one of the things that I’ve been passionate about,” said Bergeron. “I saw a huge opportunity to create this user-friendly shopping experience due to the fact that many people all over the world have been talking about the struggles of supporting small businesses. We built and launched version 1.0 in the span of six hours and have received amazing support from the community.”

The gift certificates are non-transferable, and must be spent at the store for which they were purchased. The stores themselves will track any unspent balance on the gift certificates.

The gift certificates can be purchased online at, or by calling one of the stores listed on the website. All major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay are accepted.

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