Business support program in Minto encourages ‘acts of kindness’

MINTO – An initiative to encourage and promote “acts of kindness” is among several new programs launched here to help local businesses most affected by pandemic restrictions.

The Minto Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Town of Minto to initiate several new contests and campaigns to help support businesses such as restaurants and gyms, explained economic and community development director Belinda Wick Graham at the Jan. 18 council meeting.

Ontario’s Jan. 5 move to a modified version of step 2 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, which includes a ban on indoor dining and in-person fitness programs, is currently set to continue until at Jan. 31, when they can reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

“The goal of this campaign is to encourage ‘shop local’ and getting money into these businesses who have been really impacted by the latest lockdown including gyms, the restaurants, the escape room, places like that, and to try and raise spirits in the community,” said Wick-Graham.

Through the programs, gift certificates will be purchased to affected businesses and handed out via social media contests such as:

  • Minto Picks – share your favourite meal at a local restaurant on social media (tag restaurant and post a photo). One winner each week to win $100 gift card to s local restaurant (10 weeks);
  • Minto in Motion – share a photo getting active in Minto. One winner each week to win $100 gift card to a local gym or escape room (three weeks);
  • Minto Spread Kindness – $1,000 in local gift cards to most affected businesses will be purchased and distributed to health care workers, random shoppers, and other people in the community with notes suggesting the recipients pass on the kindness.

Wick-Graham reported several Minto Chamber of Commerce directors have donated funds to the Minto Spread Kindness program to increase the impact.

Other businesses and members of the community area also encouraged to either donate to the campaign at or undertake their own acts of kindness and share on social media.

Wick-Graham said the program had received $6,000 in donations so far, which will be used to buy more gift cards to distribute.

“At the beginning of a pandemic, everyone was banging pots and doing drive-bys  and (promoting) stronger together. And that seems to have really died off lately,” said Wick-Graham.

“We’ve had a lot of generosity so far and we’re looking forward to just getting out there and spending some money at these businesses and hoping to raise the spirits in the community.”

Mayor George Bridge said he gives the chamber of commerce and local businesses a lot of credit.

“Some of them have had some pretty bad times, but the other ones that haven’t done so badly are stepping up and saying …  “What can we do to help?” and there’s some great ideas there,” Bridge said.