Patrons of Langford businesses may have noticed some new signs and stickers around town.
The City launched an “I am Langford” campaign to remind residents and visitors to shop local and support businesses in the area.
“They’ve obviously taken a huge hit with COVID-19 and we’re just trying to remind people that businesses, more than ever, need our support,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.
Flags on lamp posts with slogans such as “I Am Langford,” “I Am Proud,” and “I Am Loyal” dot the City and colourful stickers and pins have been given out to businesses to put on display. A website with a local business directory that also highlights local stories has been formed encouraging people to discover new places or continue to support businesses they love.
With new rules and regulations in place to keep people safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Young said businesses are struggling and have spent a lot to ensure they are following measures such as providing masks to employees and installing Plexiglas. Job losses have also affected spending in the community.
“Businesses understand the problems they’re facing and they’re looking for any support they can find,” Young said. “They want their government to make them feel good about getting through the pandemic and we’re not letting them be on their own.”
Young said the City of Langford is doing what it can to get rid of the red tape businesses may face to implement new practices such as expand their patios. He said the City wants its businesses to survive and get back to the new normal, even if that means bending a few rules like parking restrictions or helping businesses advertise that they’re open.
The I Am Langford program also received funding from businesses to tune of $15,000 which the City will use for random acts of kindness. Patrons at local businesses could be treated to a free meal or have their purchases paid for by the City as an act of kindness to thank them for shopping local. Over the weekend, City representatives and Pacific FC members and mascot Stewie the Starfish set up at Centennial Park for Langford Acts of Kindness Day where they handed out free cookies to community members.
“It’s just good to be kind to everybody,” Young said. “We understand we’re in a pandemic and people are stressed still so they’re sort of cooped up and feeling uncertain about the future. What we’re doing is some acts of kindness to spread a positive message and say thanks for shopping in our town.”
Young noted that he thinks the City and its residents have done a great job in following safety measures during the pandemic and continue to do so. He said he doesn’t want businesses to be the only ones left suffering at the end of it all.
“We are Langford,” Young said. “Let’s fight, be strong and support our businesses because we need them to survive.”