Businesses look for ways to help

Covid-19 pandemic

April 6, 2020, 5:09 pm
Kara Kinna

Davidson Truck and Tractor drives by a house with all of their tow trucks and lights flashing during a child’s birthday party last week. They have been doing birthday party drive-bys as a way to make children who are having parties in self isolation feel special.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made for tough times for some people—be it kids and parents isolating at home with no contact with family or friends, businesses and staff looking at layoffs, or health care workers who have to face the reality of tough times ahead at local hospitals.

However some local businesses are looking for any way they can to help.

Lower shop rate, keeping staff on

Bradley’s GM in Moosomin is one of those businesses. The local dealership announced recently that it is cutting its hourly shop rate in half to $79 for 60 days as a way to encourage customers to get repair work done on their vehicles and keep local shop staff employed instead of laying them off.

Don Bradley, with Bradley’s GM, says it was his idea to lower the shop rate.

“It’s better than a sale. That’s half the labour rate. I want to keep my guys going in the back here if I can,” he says.

“I don’t want to lay people off, I’ve trained them all. I want to keep them. We are doing our very best to keep them.

“Businesses are bleeding big-time, not only Bradley’s, but everybody else’s business.”

A birthday salute

Todd Davidson with Davidson Truck and Tractor is another business that has found a way to soften the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic for some people.

Davidson has enlisted the help of the Moosomin Fire Department to drive by houses with all of their lights flashing and horns honking when kids are having birthday parties.

Davidson says he put the idea out there on March 28 and it’s been a hit ever since.

“We just realized that some of the kids can’t really have a birthday party, and I know how special birthday parties were to me when I was a young kid, getting your friends together and having fun,” says Davidson. “We realized with the social distancing that you can’t do that. So the fire department and us, we thought if we had time and we weren’t busy doing other stuff, we would drive by the kid’s house and put our lights and sirens on and try to do something special for them.”

As of last week, they had done five birthday parties.

“Usually we get some pretty good feedback from the parents and the kids look pretty happy and pretty excited,” says Davidson. “Even some kids that we drove by that weren’t having birthdays, they seemed pretty excited just to have us go by their house with the lights and sirens on.

“Some of the kids come out on the front lawn. We don’t stop and get out, we just keep rolling on by.

“It’s a trying time. It creates awareness, and these kids are kind of getting robbed of their special day. Everybody likes to feel special and have nice things happen. It’s pretty tough for them.”

Charity lunch for healthcare workers

Cork and Bone Bistro in Moosomin may have closed its doors temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but owner Jarrod Slugoski says as a local business owner he still wants to help in some way and be a part of the community, so this Tuesday and Wednesday, he will be selling bagged lunches to the public, with proceeds going toward a free lunch for healthcare workers at the South East Integrated Care Centre in Moosomin next Monday.

“I’m going to call it a lunch box,” he says. “I will have a sandwich and some homemade potato chips and a soft drink or alcoholic beverage.”
Slugoski says the bagged lunches can be picked up at his restaurant from 12-3 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, and if requested, they can be delivered. He is encouraging people to pre order the bagged lunches, however pre orders are not necessary, people can also drop by the restaurant and buy them.

“I am basically using the profits from the sales to provide a meal to the hospital,” he says.

“My plan was to do this every week and then we can provide a meal to a group that needs it.

“I moved to Moosomin to: a) open a business to provide for me and my son and; b) to be part of the community. I want to do things that are bigger than myself. I’m in my 40s now. I just want to stay relevant in this community by offering what it is I have to offer. I grew up in Moosomin but I’m new to Moosomin again (Slugoski moved back to open his restaurant) and I want to be a part of everything that goes on in the community. If this is what it is right now, then that’s what I will do.

“I know the government is working hard to try and fix things for us, but until then I will just do what I can.”
Slugoski says he wants the lunches to have that “old-time schoolbox lunch feel.”

“I’m going to smoke a bunch of roast beef and do a smoked beef sandwich with cheese and our roasted garlic aioli and grainy mustard—something simple that will taste good warm or cold, no matter what,” he says.

“People can order what they want through my Facebook page.”
Slugoski says he plans to do the same lunch and arrange to have them delivered to the hospital for free to the employees there next Monday.

He says he’d like to do the same for other groups that need it each week, be it volunteers, people who are less fortunate, or any other groups that can use a free meal and some appreciation.