Businesses will need to change their mindset in 2021 if they want to survive, says South Niagara Chambers of Commerce executive director Dolores Fabiano.
Fabiano, who heads up Welland/Pelham, Port Colborne/Wainfleet, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls chambers of commerce, said they must pivot to the digital economy.
“The digital economy is here, and it’s here to stay. There’s no going back to the way business was done before. They have to change their mindset from viewing it as technical and challenging to seizing it as an opportunity.”
She said one step they can take is to make sure that all their contact information and hours of service are up to date on their websites and sites such as Google.
The chamber website — southniagaracc.com — has a Support Local tab with sections for both restaurants and retail stores that businesses can use at no cost.
“I think the businesses that will survive are those that make the experience for the consumer an easy and safe one … where you can find contact information, place your order and pick it up,” she said.
Until a vaccine comes to the local population over time, and cases drop significantly, Seaway Mall president Mike Belcastro doesn’t expect protocols to be lifted for a long time.
“I think we’ll be in this sort of situation until at least the fall,” he said.