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Keep shopping local to help Orillia businesses survive

Posted on Wednesday February 17, 2021

The City of Orillia’s Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) is once again pumping up the volume on Shop Local messaging to encourage residents to support Orillia and area businesses to counter the prolonged effects of COVID-19. 

“These continue to be very frustrating and perilous times for business in our area,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “And we know that businesses are so thankful for the support that local residents have shown them so far. I encourage you to keep shopping local because every little bit will help to ensure those businesses survive.” 

As the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit enters the Red-Control zone this week, more businesses are looking to resume operations. Consumers are encouraged to renew their relationships with their favorite local service providers in a safe manner. Many local shops and galleries have pivoted to offer online shopping as well as convenient curbside pickup and/or delivery, allowing residents to shop online and still shop local. 

“The health and safety of our community remains a top priority. As businesses open up with the necessary precautions in place it is essential that we adhere to the health and safety measures, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask and proper sanitation, in order to keep our community healthy and businesses open,” said Mayor Clarke. 

While some local restaurants are starting to re-open, most offer takeout service. Residents are encouraged to pick even just one day a week to sample the different tastes Orillia and Lake Country has to offer. Residents are also reminded that delivery services can take a bite out of the bottom line of local eateries. By picking up an order, more money will remain with the actual business. 

The ERTF was formed almost a year ago to work with local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and to plan and develop measures to help the local economy recover moving forward. The task force has developed a campaign that renews the call for area residents to keep local business in mind during this challenging time. 

Earlier this month Orillia Council approved additional funding for ERTF initiatives, such as the current Shop Local campaign, which includes online and social media messaging, radio advertising, billboards and videos promoting a ‘Keep Shopping Local’ theme. 

“Nearly 70 cents of every dollar spent locally, stays local,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the ERTF. “Those dollars circulate and recirculate and are spent locally on groceries, cars, homes and more. Local business keeps the local economy moving – not the Amazons and other big online retailers.” 

The COVID-19-related Shop Local initiative spearheaded by the ERTF also strengthens, leverages and highlights existing shop local campaigns developed by local community business organizations, including the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), Orillia & Lake Country Tourism and the Orillia Community Development Corporation (CDC). 

For more information, visit


Coun. Ted Emond     
Chair, Economic Recovery Task Force

Dan Landry
Manager of BR&E and Industrial Development

Mayor Steve Clarke

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Business Development Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)