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Small businesses in the Sault adjusting to COVID-19 realities

Deresti Motors offered limited access while following guidelines
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While families bond together in a supportive manner to cope with the realities of COVID-19 restrictions, small business owners are left with the difficult task of simply surviving. For many business owners in Sault Ste. Marie, that means balancing the need to help flatten the curve while still trying to generate business. 

Thankfully, the recent loosening of some social distancing measures has meant some owners are taking small steps to get back to business. 

“I am so happy to be back to selling cars from the dealership as opposed to remotely trying to make people happy with one of the biggest investments they will ever make,” said Matt Pavoni of Deresti Motors. “Although being away from the office the past two months was a tough pill to swallow, the best part was spending more time together with my family. I am grateful to have a very supportive family. Although like many, it is not what I am accustomed to, I’ve tried to embrace the slower pace and enjoy the time spent with my wife and two children.”

Like most businesses trying to adapt to distancing measures that fundamentally alter traditional customer service activity, Deresti Motors customized its services by implementing its own strategies. That meant being open by appointment only but still offering potential buyers the opportunity to test drive their favourite makes and models. It also meant ensuring the dealership is complying with strict regulations when opening. 

As the province begins to open up in phases, the government announced that as of May 19, 2020 dealerships with separate street front entrances are permitted to reopen. And although having clients visit his dealership is good news, Deresti remains committed to ensuring the safety of the public.

“As suggested by health, government and auto dealership bodies, Deresti Motors has plenty of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, gloves, and masks available for all customers,” said Pavoni. “Physical distancing also will remain a top priority. As well all vehicles and keys are sanitized before and after all test drives. We’re not taking any chances with the safety of our customers.”

Given the fact that customers have responded in such a positive manner to safety measures at the dealership past and present, Pavoni is humbled and equally grateful for the loyalty shown to his business by the community. As a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie business community, Pavoni says he values all of his interactions with customers and as a strong community he is confident the city will get through this together.  

“It made me realize how very thankful I am for the support of my business through the past 12 years from the community and beyond,” he said. “I am very optimistic that the situation caused by COVID-19 will continue to improve and I will be able to open the dealership full time without an appointment in the near future.”

Pavoni continues to urge customers to visit the dealership website or take a drive through the dealership at 354 Wellington St. W to check out all available inventory. 

To book an appointment, call 705-256-1717 or text Matt directly at 705-971-0979.
“As always, I will be here to provide an honest and personable experience. I will continue to offer access to many quality used vehicles,” said Pavoni.

Follow Deresti Motors on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the dealership. Or visit them online at