Mr. and Mrs. Potato, Dave and Barb Chamberlain, have their food truck set up for the season next to the Alberni Liquor Store on Johnston Road in North Port Alberni. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)

Mr. and Mrs. Potato, Dave and Barb Chamberlain, have their food truck set up for the season next to the Alberni Liquor Store on Johnston Road in North Port Alberni. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

BY TERESA BIRD

Alberni Valley News

As local businesses begin to reopen, refresh and reorganize to meet the requirements of doing business during a pandemic, local support is being offered.

The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the city and Webmax.ca to offer a new program to local businesses for online shopping. Better Buy Port Alberni encourages shoppers to purchase gift cards to local businesses to support them now and later. The website is like a local mall. You click on a logo to go to that store’s unique site. There you can purchase gift cards or click through to the store’s website or social media page for more shopping opportunities. Businesses can sign up for the rest of 2020 for free until May 28. Learn more by contacting Bill at the chamber of commerce at 250-724-6535 or on the site at www.betterbuyportalberni.ca/sign-up.

Community Futures is a good resource for business supports, offering one-on-one business support, coaching and planning, as businesses navigate through this challenging time. To schedule a time with an advisor, email info@cfac.ca or call 250-724-1241.

The Alberni Valley News is offering a Business Continuity Plan to local businesses that are re-opening or getting back to business in a new way. The plan includes print, digital and social media in three packages deeply discounted (up to 70% off the rate card) for recovering businesses. The plan can start at any time and runs for two months at the discounted rates. Call Teresa or Rachel at 250-723-6399 for more information.

Other business news

The Mr. and Mrs. Potato food truck has found a new location, next to the Alberni Liquor Store on Johnston Road. They have an updated menu and are open 11 am to 6 pm every day but Wednesday (closed). They have complied with health and safety precautions and have lots of parking for social distancing. Once restrictions are lifted they also plan to ad some tables.

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The Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre celebrated a very quiet fifth anniversary this month as the facility is currently closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions. The aquarium, located at Harbour Quay, recently became a non-profit organization, but the pandemic closures have impacted their revenues. They are looking for people to sponsor the tanks each month. For more information, see their Facebook page.

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Azalea Flowers and Gifts celebrated their fifth anniversary as well in May. They originally opened May 1 on Argyle Street but are now located on Adelaide. The shop, owned by Pam Fong and Lyndon Cassell, offers custom flower arrangements, plants, gift baskets and unique gifts for any occasion. Call 778-421-2660 or see www.azaleaflowers.ca

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A Port Alberni student is one of eight to earn the Glenn Spartz Scholarship from Boating BC this year.

Ben Doffe works at Port Boat House in Port Alberni, and is attending Vancouver Island University in the Marine Mechanical Technician (MMT) program. He and the seven other recipients received up to $2,000 to help offset the cost of their education.

Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News publisher. Do you have a business tip for her? E-mail her at publisher@albernivalleynews.com or call 250-723-6399.

Alberni Valley News