On March 12, 2020, the Fleetwood BIA issued a directive to its business members that the COVID 19 Pandemic could have a direct impact to all businesses and to expect business closures and staff layoffs and other challenges if the government issues an Emergency Order or State of Emergency.
In preparation for the emergency order, which was put in place on March 18, 2020, the Fleetwood BIA took the proactive step to create partnerships with all business entities in Surrey to share information and act as a single voice for our respective membership. This group included the four (4) Surrey BIAs, Surrey Board of Trade and the Cloverdale and White Rock Chambers of Commerce.
During the next two weeks of March, businesses voluntarily and/or were mandated to close their businesses. Of the 353 businesses in Fleetwood, about half the businesses closed immediately, in what most people thought, would be a “couple of weeks” response to the pandemic.
Throughout March, we issued a number of newsletters to the membership to provide much needed information and access to resources for the businesses that was clear, concise, and accurate and could
be accessible in a timely manner.
April’s Phase 1 – Open4Business campaign saw the Fleetwood BIA partner with Surrey’s media friends – PulseFM and the NOW Leader – to provide advertisements and interviews that showcased Fleetwood
businesses and created new touch points for our open for business members to access customers. The Fleetwood BIA activated its social media platforms and invested in a direct mail campaign that saw
10,000 Fleetwood residences and businesses receive an invite to download the Fleetwood Deals App and shop local to support these businesses.
With social distancing, businesses began to change their business model and created guidelines that allowed for them to stay open, as an essential business and throughout April, businesses that we essential but had voluntarily closed started to open back up to their customers.