#SupportFredLocal campaign aims to help local businesses struggling with pandemic restrictions

Level 3 restrictions have been hard on businesses across New Brunswick - many have had to close, reduce capacity, or turn to take out only.

"The first lockdown was horrible of course but we'd come off a normal winter time, this one is doubly bad, we've come off a very poor showing in November, December into a very bad January," said Ted Jones, co-owner of Kitchen 540.

Businesses affected by the lockdown are worried what empty streets, and empty seats could mean for their employees and the bottom line.

"The streets are empty, you can park anywhere, I just don't know what more could be done,” said Jones.

"We have a lot not working right now but we're very hopeful that it's temporary, well we know it's temporary but we don't know how long it'll be, we hope it'll be short," said Krista Touesnard, co-owner of The Tipsy Muse.

Fredericton Tourism says they hope businesses can get over the hump of the current lockdown.

“A lot of them are constantly being forced to pivot and how can they survive because it's not just to be able to keep the lights on it's the livelihood of their employees to be able to make sure that they still have a job and how to protect them, so there's a lot at stake," said Stacey Russell, manager of Fredericton Tourism.

Supporting local doesn't seem to have the same appetite it did in the beginning of the pandemic, but Fredericton Tourism is hoping a new contest called Support Fred Local might take a bite out of the problem.

"When we knew we had to cancel Frostival and postpone Dine Around Freddy, we spoke to a number of restaurants to see what the vibe was and what the temperature is, everything we were hearing from restaurants was this has been the hardest time ever through the pandemic so we knew the moment Premier Higgs made the announcement to go into lockdown we had to move very fast," Russell.

Fredericton Tourism's #SupportFredLocal contest goes until Monday, Jan. 31.

As it stands right now, Level 3 restrictions are slated to end Jan. 30 at 11:59 p.m.