A Richmond city councillor wants residents to spend the summer playing tourists in their own hometown, trying out new local experiences to support small businesses.
Chak Au launched the #supportlocalbusiness initiative to provide a platform for small business people and consumers to connect.
“Because of the pandemic, our whole lifestyle changed. Now we need to talk about restoring the economy,” Au says.
“Right now, many small businesses are struggling and relying on the government to survive. But that can’t last forever. I want to help small businesses get back on their feet and promote them, so residents realize how important they are for the local economy.”
Au’s recently launched website and Facebook page are venues for local businesses to advertise promotions and for Richmond residents to share their recommendations. He encourages people to post photos and stories of their local experiences.
“The theme of my campaign is ‘Let’s re-discover Richmond’,” Au says.
“There are places we haven’t seen before, and there are businesses we haven’t tried yet.”
As Richmond businesses reopen, Au encourages everyone to respect appropriate social distancing measures for their health and safety while exploring their city.
“Our lives have slowed down because of COVID-19. As we take the time to look around us some more, we may notice stores and restaurants that we haven’t before,” Au says.
“Now is the perfect time to try out that restaurant you’ve never gone to before.”
So far, Au is taking his own advice, challenging himself to eat at new places and sharing his recommendations with other people to encourage them to do the same.
Au hopes more people will follow his lead and explore Richmond.
“Get to know your city and become an ambassador for Richmond,” Au says.
“Let’s help each other through this time.”