MIDDLESEX COUNTY, ONT. -- A new campaign is hoping Londoners will take advantage of Downtown London shops as they begin to reopen amid easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on many businesses in the Forest City, particularly small businesses and those downtown.

While many have moved to offer online shopping with curb-side pickup or deliver after closing their doors, some are finally starting to reopen.

In an effort to draw more shoppers downtown, the 'Hit our Bricks...Small is the New Mall' campaign has been launched.

It includes a two-month long contest where shoppers submit photos of downtown purchases in an effort to win $500 in Downtown Dollars, with a winner each week.

A list of businesses that have reopened is available here.

Shop local initiative unveiled in Sarnia-Lambton

Also on Monday, Shop Lambton was launched, a free resource to support businesses in the Sarnia-Lambton by encouraging people to shop locally.

The joint initiative, involving the COVID-19 Business and Economic Taskforce and County of Lambton, features an interactive database of local stores and restaurants, including contact information and services available.

Lambton County Warden Bill Weber said in a statement, "By shopping local and supporting Lambton County businesses you can help our economy recover from the financial hardships we are currently faced with."

Local establishments are encouraged to register here and the map will be updated twice a week.