I live in a mid-size town. It’s not tiny, but it’s no big city. I’ve heard enough stories from friends and family that I know what I’m experiencing in my town is being repeated in communities of all sizes in many areas of the U.S.—and around the world.
Businesses are hit hard by the challenges as we deal with COVID-19. But the creativity I’m seeing within those businesses and through community support is astounding.
Our locally-owned small movie theater can’t show movies, but they can pop popcorn, and they put a little treat in people’s weekends by filling a tub and sealing it with press-n-seal plastic wrap for $5 cash and carry. They leave the door open so no one has to touch a door handle and ask only a couple people step inside at a time to be able to safely social distance. I saw two people overpay in order to support the small business, and as I left, I saw a delivery person from a local restaurant arrive.
That’s not the only example of one business supporting another. The restaurant that delivered that order? They were recently treated to a free supper by another restaurant—just to encourage each other as fellow owners and employees.
I’ve seen businesses pulling together on social media to highlight what they’re able to offer right now, how they got started, and what they’ll offer when they can fully restore their goods and services.
I’ve seen businesses who could have justified remaining open to the public take a conservative approach to protect their employees and the public. Their limited services will cost them in the short-term, but I am hopeful their tough decisions will build trust and loyalty from the community.
Businesses have partnered to collect essentials or express gratitude with free coffee or meals for medical professionals and law enforcement.
The busiest stores have limited their hours to make sure they can clean well and have set aside the early morning hours for the most vulnerable.
That’s only a few examples. Each of these businesses have faced and will continue to make difficult decisions. Each owner and every employee copes with his or her own personal challenges while they continue to do what they can to make a living and help the community.
Thank you, small business owners. And thank you for each and every person who is supporting these businesses and others in the community—with good social distancing practices of course.