Downtown Vernon Association executive director Susan Lehman says the service industry showed its resiliency in crisis. (Photo courtesy Tourism Delta.)

Downtown Vernon Association executive director Susan Lehman says the service industry showed its resiliency in crisis. (Photo courtesy Tourism Delta.)

Vernon service industry serves up solutions in COVID

Industry showed its resiliency in crisis: Downtown Vernon Association executive director

In a year unlike any other, Vernon’s food and beverage industry has shown its perseverance and ability to adapt to the unknown.

Downtown Vernon Association executive director Susan Lehman said despite “significant blows,” the industry responded quickly to health orders and adapted hours and service-delivery models when and wherever necessary.

“We’ve seen incredible support for each other within the industry, including some very unique collaborations,” Lehman said.

Support was also offered by the City of Vernon with initiatives such as the parking spot patio expansions and free downtown parking and dedicated curbside spots.

“Helpful to nearly all have been the revised liquor purchasing prices by the province of B.C.,” Lehman said. “And the existing and emerging food delivery services, including a local startup, Driver Dispatch.”

Now, nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in British Columbia and business doors shut to the public, the Downtown Vernon Association said it’s looking forward to post-pandemic life.

“We look forward to our food and beverage businesses being able to serve guests in maximum capacity settings once again, to not only offer vibrant and varied options for dining for guests but also to recover the talented workforce that saw reduced hours or layoffs.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

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