SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A New Brunswick couple has stepped up to help a local business succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine Gilliland and Bob McVicar are regulars at the Cask and Kettle. They visit the Saint John gastropub two, sometimes three, times a week.

“We like this place a lot. We think it's one of the best patios in the uptown for sure,” says Gilliland.

As a way to give back to a local business impacted by the pandemic, Gilliland and McVicar decided to cover the fee for the restaurant’s summer patio.

“I know that margins are really tight with restaurants and a lot of other small businesses,” says Gilliland.

“So it really got me thinking what can we do, besides shopping local and making sure we support them when we're here? What can we do to make up for some of that lost revenue?”

As entrepreneurs, Gilliland and McVicar understand the stress of trying to keep your business afloat. The couple say they were two of the lucky ones, as their businesses were barely affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, but they knew that wasn't the case for so many others.

“For people like us, who have had an okay time, we had the capacity to help others by supporting things and sponsoring things, so that's what we've been doing,” says McVicar.

Shawn Verner is one of the owners of Cask and Kettle. He says he was blown away by the couple’s generosity.

“It wasn't really about the money per se, it was just the gesture that she and Bob would think of trying to help us,” says Verner.

“For them to pick us out of all the other places and come to us and say they want to support us, it was truly heartfelt from our point of view,” says Mike McPartlan, a co-owner of Cask and Kettle.

The couple hopes others follow their lead to help small businesses weather the storm of COVID-19.