Many residents of the Canal neighborhood rely on small businesses for basic necessities like food, services, and merchandise, so our Covid-19 outreach team provides staff at these local businesses with free rapid tests and vaccination appointments. These ‘business pop ups,’ begun in Spring 2022, are the latest ways that our team at Canal Alliance is helping stem transmissions and keep the community, employers and customers, safe and protected.
The first business to receive Covid-19 pop-up services was Estrada’s Taxes, which is run by Jose Estrada. Several employees received rapid tests during the visit, obtaining the results in about 20 minutes; others made appointments for boosters.
Jose Estrada was happy and relieved that the services were brought over to him.
“We’re so busy right now because it’s tax season. We deal with many clients a day so having this program really makes it easy for us to know that we have that extra safety. I signed up for my Moderna booster thanks to Canal Alliance and Alex.”
Following Estrada Tax Services, the team visited Casa Guatemala, Anaceli’s Service, Bakery Bendicion, Churro Station, and Creaciones Ruby Party Supply, which are all located in the Canal.
Casa Guatemala is a one-stop shop for clothes, medicine, calling cards and Guatemalan snacks.
“This is a place where everyone can get a little bit of home here in the Canal. We provide services that really help the community out. I already had my vaccine but I’m happy that you can come here today so I can get my Covid-19 test,” said Dori Luz Galindo from Casa Guatemala
The Covid-19 outreach team is successful because it is flexible. Businesses remain in operation during the visits, and customers and clients come and go.
Even with proper planning, a rush of guests made their way through Bakery Bendicion and Churro Station during the visit, which is a good problem to have for a business. Once the rush subsided, the Covid-19 team got to work, taking rapid tests and scheduling booster appointments for those who needed them.
Alex Nava, an intern with the Covid-19 outreach team, is in charge of setting up appointments and getting the word out to local businesses who might be interested in the services. “We do outreach to ensure that our community stays safe,” she said. “Our businesses interact with the community and their staff may have limitations getting to service. I hope to continue to get the word out there and get more businesses onboard.”
The Covid-19 business outreach pop-ups have been a great success so far and the team will provide certificates to businesses to participate in regular testing opportunities, acknowledging the partnership that is helping keep the community safe. Business employees and owners are able to relax a little more throughout the work week knowing that there are these resources available when they’re working.