Business closures and event cancellations, caused by COVID-19 have taken quite the toll on downtown Regina, but there’s optimism that it will get back to normal after the pandemic.
Executive Director of the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID), Judith Veresuk, says she’s hoping that, as more businesses begin to reopen and restrictions are lifted, more people will come back downtown.
“As some confidence comes back to the city, in terms of being able to be out in public again, we’re hoping to see that recovery happen for all of our local businesses across the city,” said Veresuk.
She says that, she’s excited to see the increase in traffic downtown in recent weeks,adding that even with physical distancing rules in place, there seems to be an appetite to go shopping again.
“I would just love to see more people down here supporting their businesses while maintaining that distance from each other,” said Veresuk.
Getting used to physical distancing while shopping or eating downtown is going to be necessary according to Veresuk, who thinks that will be the normal for quite a while.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, RDBID, like many other organizations, was forced to cancel their scheduled events like their concert series and their outdoor cinemas.
Veresuk says that instead of focusing on the events they lost, they started other initiatives.
“Instead of hiring folks to run these events with us, we’ve decided to reposition them as an enhanced clean team,” said Veresuk. “The gentleman that typically would put up the tables and chairs for our ‘Cinema Under the Stars’ event, he’s now out there picking up litter and wiping down high-touch points throughout downtown.”
Veresuk adds that RDBID’s plan to revitalize the downtown core hasn’t changed, it’ll just have different priorities after the pandemic is behind us.