Free delivery program extended for downtown businesses

The Downtown Victoria Business Association is extending its free delivery program for another month, continuing an economic lifeline that over the Christmas shopping season helped struggling businesses boost sales.

The DVBA launched the Downtown Delivers program Dec. 3 for retailers and added restaurants on Dec. 17 by partnering with local meal delivery app Tutti.

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The program makes deliveries from downtown businesses free to local customers.

Since the start of the program, Downtown Delivers has covered more than $40,000 in local delivery costs for its members. The DVBA said by using local delivery companies, the money was also injected directly into the local economy.

The program will now run until Feb. 15, helping businesses through the difficult post-holiday doldrums.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic — especially the lack of summer tourists and the reduced numbers of office workers — have been difficult for downtown businesses, said Jeff Bray, executive director of the DVBA.

He said Downtown Delivers helps business members by offering their customers the ability to support downtown more easily from home.

“We are so pleased at how Greater Victorians have utilized Downtown Delivers so far,” said Bray. “In doing so, they support local businesses, and our four local courier partners.”

Tara Savrtka, director of operations for Baggins Shoes on Lower Johnson Street, said the program offered Baggins an opportunity to offer quick, reliable delivery beyond the downtown core and provided peace of mind for customers during the ongoing health crisis. “We are so grateful for the program for allowing us to continue to offer our products and services to those who may not be able to enjoy our downtown businesses otherwise,” she said.

Further information about the program can be found at dvba.ca/downtowndelivers.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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