CGL Strategic Business Tax Advisors is offering a discount to customers who don’t come into the office, and instead, send in their documents through a secure online portal. The measure to meant to protect seniors who may not have electronic access. Photo via Twitter

COVID-19 challenging central Alberta businesses to get creative

We live in unprecedented times, and some central Alberta businesses are having to ask unprecendented questions, or get creative with the way they offer services to customers.

Red Deer resident Trish Holmes, co-owner at PuroClean, said Thursday the company is asking clients some personal questions, before sending employees out to their properties.

The company provides santization services and property damage restoration services, including for flood and fire.

The nature of the business requires employees to go into people’s homes and commercial properties, Holmes explained. That means the company is taking extra measures to protect staff and customers.

“We’re asking people questions, and discussing things we’ve never had to discuss before,” she said with a chuckle.

“Like if they’ve been travelling in the last 14 days, been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19, if they’re concerned about their health, so we know what we’re walking into.

“Also letting them know when we come into their homes, we will be wearing gloves, and we’ll be keeping social distance, to protect them and our employees.”

Lacombe’s Ugly’s Pub and Grill made the difficult decision Tuesday to shut down amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Co-owner Taylor DeMott said St. Patrick’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year, and to protect both staff and customers, the business shuttered its doors temporarily.

“I was actually quite shocked how busy my weekend was, so I had to make a decision based on safety of my staff, my customers and my family.”

DeMott and her mom, Cindy, who is also a co-owner of the business, had fresh produce and meat on hand from a recent previous order, before the restaurant shut its doors.

With the ongoing pandemic and economic struggles, the two decided to use the supplies and make some meals: fresh salads, shepherd’s pie, beef stew and chili, and offer free meals to families in need in the area.

DeMott said she is surprised to see the number of requests she has received so far: meals for 75 people.

“We just want to donate our time and meals with the downturn in the economy and people getting laid off,” she said.

There are restaurants that are open for takeout and delivery, but it’s not an affordable option for some families, the co-owner said.

With the high need in the community, her mom decided to buy more supplies and make more meals, out of her own pocket, said DeMott.

“She just has a big heart and she loves to cook,” the daughter said of her mom.

The two decided Thursday to make meals for about 150 people, and more if more requests come in.

“I was quite surprised at the need.”

In Red Deer, CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors has found a way to protect employees, clients and seniors amid COVID-19, with a discount.

The business is encouraging clients to not come into the office and use alternative methods to send information in exchange for 15 per cent off their tax preparation.

A sign posted on Twitter shows a secure electronic portal that clients can use to transmit documents.

“Help protect our senior clients that don’t have electronic access,” states the sign.

Wrenchmasters Auto Pro in Red Deer has a safe outdoor key drop box for customers needing help with their vehicles during the pandemic.

“The key drop is there for you, right outside the main door. It’s safe and secure. Leave your vehicle then give us a call with details,” Tweeted the business Thursday.

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