- Osborne Village, once one of Winnipeg’s busiest areas, was hard hit by the pandemic, but the local business improvement zone claims it’s now back to normal.
- Sous Sol, just down the road, has also been affected by the pandemic, according to general manager Scott Redfern.
- Since March 2020, there have been eight closures in the area, according to Osborne Village BIZ, which claims the number is lower than people think.
Once one of Winnipeg’s busiest neighborhoods, Osborne Village was hard hit by the pandemic, but the local business improvement zone claims it’s back to normal.
Pinky’s Bakeshop, which opened in 2013, has firsthand knowledge of Osborne Village’s challenges.
Since opening, the small bakery’s owner claims that rent has increased by about 60%.
“It’s tough here,” says owner Phingky Fuentes, “like for rent, I feel like it’s very significant for the foot traffic we’re getting.”
General manager Scott Redfern of Sous Sol, just down the road, said the restaurant, too, has felt the effects of the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sous Sol was forced to stop doing in-person dining and had to get creative to make any money.
Redfern claims that the village’s pandemic-wounded businesses are feeling more optimistic lately despite the difficulties.
“We’re able to get that foot traffic a great deal more because people feel safer and also more open to going to places in person,” he said, referring to the lifting of various regulations and mandates.
According to Osborne Village BIZ, since March 2020, there have been eight closures in the area, which claims the number is lower than people think.
The BIZ’s executive director, Lindsay Somers, said, “We have most of our buildings filled with businesses.”
“There are some strategic corners that are vacant, and I believe there is a perception that there are much more vacant than there are.”
In the same period, 17 new businesses have opened in the neighborhood, according to Somers.
The Osborne Village BIZ uses occurrences like its Earth Day cleanup to keep the post-pandemic business community moving in the right direction.
“This year, the Osborne Village BIZ focuses on rebuilding, revitalizing, and energising the neighborhood,” Somers said, “where we’re working to build connections between businesses, our residents, and our community.”
Somers stated that the BIZ anticipates two major apartment developments shortly, increasing the population and creating new retail opportunities.
However, right now, support is critical for existing businesses.
“People come first, and then businesses will start reopening and doing that,” Redfern explained. “We’re just incredibly grateful for everyone who comes out and supports all of the different local businesses.”
Source: CTV News
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