Saturday, April 20, 2024

Coronavirus: Williamsburg launches website linking shoppers to businesses

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

Through social media, residents and visitors alike have asked “how can I help local businesses?”

So, to promote and support local businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Williamsburg launched a website to connect customers with city businesses allowing them to continue to “buy local.”

Gov. Ralph Northam this week ordered all non-essential businesses such as recreation and entertainment venues to close. Non-essential businesses included, but not limited to, are bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers, racetracks, barbershops, spas and massage parlors.

Restaurants, ABC stores, breweries, wineries and other establishment can remain open for carry-out, curbside pick-up and deliveries only.

Non-essential businesses, such as retail, can stay open as long as the businesses continue to sanitize, keep patrons to fewer than 10 and maintain social distancing.

The order went into effect Tuesday and will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. April 23.

Williamsburg city officials said the site allows customers to search local businesses by map, name and business category.

“As businesses send us the information, we will post it on the site,” said Michele Mixner DeWitt, the city’s director of economic development. “The City created this portal to help our businesses reach customers during this time and provide one-stop-shopping for customers.”

“The resiliency of our businesses is extraordinary,” DeWitt added. “We encourage customers to continue to shop locally in support of our businesses.”


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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