Full disclosure: I'm not the most patient person. When I was a kid my mom had to regularly tell me to dig into my pockets and pull out my patience. It's something I've been working on for years. I'm always trying to remember to pause, reflect and be ok with slowing down. The last seven weeks have been a flurry of activity with everything changing so rapidly. I think now is a good time to practice patience. As much as I would love to see people cramming the streets of downtown Winnipeg again, a bustling Farmers' Market, line-ups for patios and everyone's smiling faces as our city starts to turn green, I'm going to be patient and trust that everything will come in good time, when it's safe.
While the Province announced it is easing restrictions starting Monday, May 4 to allow more businesses to open, it doesn't mean you have to rush to do so. If you're not ready to open, if you're not comfortable opening, if it doesn't make financial sense to open… that is okay. If you are excited to open and trying to figure out how to do so safely that's cool too!
Over the last 48 hours, I've heard from BIZ members who have a lot of questions about reopening and we are working to get you answers. You'll be the first to know when we get clarification and any new details. We also understand that staffing, supply chains and childcare are challenges you may be facing and it's not as simple as flipping a switch.
For those who are able and would like to begin reopening, our Downtown Winnipeg BIZ team is doing what we can to help you open efficiently and safely. Less than five days to come up with a plan isn't much time, but our team has worked quickly to create the necessary signage you will need to post, we're sharing with you where you can find hand sanitizer and we're working with the City on its temporary patio permitting process. We're also looking at other solutions to increase outdoor capacity downtown this summer. We're playing the long game here and if we can provide opportunities for Winnipeggers to explore downtown, visit your business and do all of that safely this summer, we will find a way. For more on how the BIZ is approaching the reopen plan, here's an interview I did with CTV.
I hope you all find some time to pause and reflect this weekend, even if you are still trying to figure out if you can or should open. Please don't hesitate to reach out. We're in this together and our Downtown Winnipeg BIZ team is here for you. (And if anyone could use a little extra patience let me know, there may be some hiding in a winter jacket pocket I can share.)