Brandon businesses brace for Code Orange

By | August 22, 2020

BRANDON — Businesses in Brandon and the surrounding area are bracing for tighter restrictions to come into effect Monday, after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Prairie Mountain Health Region was upgraded to code orange, a day after the province unveiled its new colour coded system aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. As of Friday , there were 116 active cases in the region.

The restrictions make masks mandatory in public places and limit group sizes indoors and outdoors to ten, adding an extra layer of challenges for businesses. 

“We are suffering. Our business is suffering so we are trying different things,” said Aida Tahhan, owner of the Brandon business Aida’s Catering.

Aida's Catering.

Aida Tahhan runs a catering company in Brandon and says she has had to lay off two employees.

Tahhan said it has been difficult trying to keep her company afloat during the pandemic. 

“I started renovating a big building for weddings. Now I have to put it on hold, after I spent all the money.”

Despite increasing delivery options and creating a new line of frozen meals, Tahhan has had to lay off two staff members.

Brent Buchanan

Brent Buchanan, funeral director of Memories Chapel in Brandon.

Funeral homes are also spending the weekend trying to prepare for Monday.

“We have a service (Saturday) that I arranged (Friday) morning because they want to have it before restrictions take place,” said Brent Buchanan, the funeral director of Memories Chapel.

Buchanan has worked in the industry for 40 years. He said the code orange restrictions are a “little too strong.”

He is now looking at live streaming options. 

Spencer Day, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce told CTV Friday many businesses are trying to find ways to adapt.

“Whether it’s online portals, whether it’s delivery, curb-side pick-up, there is a real appetite to keep Brandon businesses open.”

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