The Heights Merchants Association has decided to cancel Hats Off Day for 2020, to protect the public and do their social duty to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infections.
“With approximately 700 confirmed cases (March 18) of COVID-19 in Canada, as of today, and countless additional cases that have not been tested or confirmed, hosting a festival for 50,000 people would be foolish and irresponsible,” said Isabel Kolic, executive director of the Heights Merchants Association.
“Our merchants are dedicated to this community and to Burnaby. We want to do everything in our power to support society’s efforts to stop infections. Our Board was truly sad to cancel this special event, but it is the right thing to do at this time.”
Kolic explained that the Association is refocussing their resources on helping merchants withstand the immense pressures and help them find solutions for the financial damage stemming from COVID-19’s effect on the economy.
The HMA would like to remind the public that if there are supplies or food that they need, many Heights businesses are already adapting and have switched to a delivery-model or curbside pick up-model, where customers can order and pay by phone. Some businesses are delivering their services via video conferencing.
“Before ordering online, or going to a big box store, check in with your local merchant, first. Remember that the biggest retailers will survive this crisis, but the little ones won’t. Which ones do you want to still have in your neighbourhood after we put this period behind us?” Kolic asked.
Hats Off Day will return in 2021, when Burnaby will have even more to celebrate: a strong community that helps each other in a time of crisis, and the relief of putting this period behind us.
The HMA office is similarly closed. It will re-open when it is safe to do so. Staff are working from home.