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Valmiera’s businesses think outside the box

Through a local initiative, businesses that can not operate at a distance are discovering new ways to keep going

  • April 14, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: Valmiera, L. Paegles iela by Pēteris Caune (CC BY-NC 2.0)

After lockdowns were imposed in Latvia, many businesses could still operate at a distance. Some offices sent their employees to work from home, restaurants and retailers started relying only on deliveries and essential shops like food markets and pharmacies were allowed to remain open. There are some, however, who at first had no opportunity to restructure their way of work.

Local initiative and adapting to new circumstances

The local Valmiera Development Agency, however, has come up with a solution for many businesses that have been put out of commission. Its initiative is called “Support the locals. Support Valmiera” and aims to popularize and shine a light on the plight of many entrepreneurs who have been forced to completely rethink the way they do business in the city.

How does it work? Businessowners are invited to create short videos explaining how their work has transformed over the last few weeks, thus not only telling a story but also giving locals an opportunity to discover things that they might have missed.

For example, hair salons and hairdressers in Valmiera have been pretty much entirely put out of work due to the lockdown and the social distancing measures enforced by the Latvian government. The way they have adapted in Valmiera is by delivering tailor-made solutions to the doorsteps of clients and customers – like pre-mixed hair dyes, accompanied by instructions on their application.

By shining a light on the efforts of local businesses, the Valmiera Development Agency hopes that at least some of them will be able to maintain a semblance of functionality. That in turn, would allow for entrepreneurs to not go bankrupt and eventually give them the opportunity to return to work, once the coronavirus crisis has subsided.

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