Coronavirus: Winnipeg small businesses feeling impact of non-critical business closures

WATCH: Global's Marney Blunt talks to a business owner who, along with countless others across the province, will have to find new ways to navigate retail or else close entirely on Wednesday.

Many small and independent retailers and businesses are set to feel the impact of a recent public health order, issued by the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the province issued a public health order requiring all non-critical businesses to close from April 1 to 14 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

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The closure order will hit many small businesses in the city, including Exchange District business owner and fashion designer Lennard Taylor.

“I’m just going out of my way to support other small business that I like and want to keep in the community because this is going to impact small businesses fully,” Taylor said.

“It’s going to impact small businesses on a global scale. Small businesses are the most at-risk businesses.”

The order still allows non-critical businesses to operate remotely, something Taylor is making the most of.

Taylor, along with many others, had already closed doors to business amid COVID-19. Now, he’s offering clients virtual shopping tours — something he’ll be doing for the next two weeks, and potentially longer.

“With COVID-19 it’s not business as usual, but because of that we’ve adapted our business so we’ve gone to personalized shopping tours for our customers where you can do a live feed or FaceTime or Skype or What’s App and we can take you around the store and make you smile and feel good,” he said.

“It’s really interesting to see the responses. A lot of my clients shop with me in person and then shop with me virtual time. They actually say they like the virtual time better because they can sit at home and see the garments on the comfort of their couch.”

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Taylor also says now is the time to support local businesses.

“It’s the little things that matter at this point and everyone has to do their part,” Taylor said. “Support the community that matters to you and it’ll be there at the end of this.”

The public health order remains in effect for two weeks, after then the province will re-assess and potentially extend it.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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