(London Drugs)

Since the pandemic began, the restaurant industry has taken blow after blow and with the recent dine-in ban, things just got a little tougher.

Thankfully, big-box retailers like London Drugs are stepping up to help.

Earlier this week, London Drugs — as part of the company’s Local Central program — announced it is offering up shelf space to Western Canadian restaurants struggling because of the pandemic.

Any restaurants with specialty house brand items suitable for retail sales are invited to submit them to London Drugs for immediate consideration to be stocked and sold on store shelves.

Items that will be considered include sauces, jams, rubs, apparel, and more.

“The collateral damage to small businesses created by the pandemic has been devastating and, the restaurant industry — particularly those small and locally-owned — have sustained one of the heaviest blows,” said Clint Mahlman, President and COO of London Drugs.

“As a company, we want to offer any support we can to restaurateurs and businesses in our communities right now, and we know our customers do too.”

London Drugs launched their Local Central program last April and has supported more than 100 local businesses to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars since that time.

“The last year has pushed local businesses – including London Drugs – to become incredibly nimble,” said Mahlman. “One of the most public ways this has played out has been in the quick response of local restaurants and businesses to sudden closures and evolving distancing measures.”

“With the Local Central program already in place, we are in a unique position to offer support quickly.”

The program is open to restaurants based in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. There are eight London Drug locations on Vancouver Island taking part in the Local Central program.

London Drugs is ready to review product submissions immediately and local restaurants can see their packaged products and merchandise on store shelves within a week.

To submit products for review, restaurant owners can visit the online application.

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