Non-essential businesses have been doing their best to get by during COVID-19 like Julie McCollum’s JJ’s Home Inspirations.
McCollum was born in 100 Mile House and after spending some time away from the community, she resettled in 100 Mile six years ago and opened her furniture store, initially to help her folks with their own furniture store of 25 years. At JJ’s she sells furniture, mattresses, giftware, clothing, jewellery, incense, art more or less a “little bit of everything” she said.
“We shut down, we’ve been closed as of March 18, it’s been a good six weeks anyway, and what we offer is opening by appointments only,” McCollum said. “Meeting clients on a one on one basis because we’re not really an essential service but there are still people who need mattresses or sheets.”
She’s been doing her best to promote sales through her Facebook page and invites people to text, call or email her about furniture related inquiries. For people who have been isolating McCollum is also offering free local deliveries while for clients able to come to the business she’ll leave the furniture by the front door.
Despite these precautions, her business has still taken a hit, as around half of her sales come from small items people pick up while browsing through the store. The store being closed also means that walk-in customers and any revenue they may bring is also gone, further hurting them.
“I am hoping to open with limited hours and days as early as next week, I’m just in the process of ordering those sneeze guards,” McCollum said. “When I reopen I want to have everything in place so everyone’s health and safety is in mind.”
Walking the tightrope between keeping her business running and keeping health and safety in mind is one she intends to do based on the behaviour of her fellow small businesses and government guidelines.
“I just hope people are doing what they can to stay positive and healthy,” McCollum said, encouraging everyone to do what they can to shop locally during these trying times.