Last month, at TheBurg, we had a sobering meeting.
We discussed what the coronavirus contagion might mean for us. How would it impact our business? Should we make any changes? And, most importantly, how would we manage through this crisis?
I know that many other small businesses had similar difficult meetings.
They deliberated if they should stay open or close. And, if they closed, they wondered how they would survive. Would they ever be able to open again?
In the Harrisburg area, different businesses made different decisions. Many offices implemented or expanded telework, though that wasn’t an option for most customer-facing businesses like restaurants, bars, retailers and arts groups.
By state decree, restaurants were forced to shut their doors to diners, though some remained open for takeout and delivery. Most arts- and events-based businesses closed, as well.
In the end, it’s up to us to ensure that our community’s small businesses survive this economic catastrophe. After all, not only do they serve us everyday—sometimes on a shoestring—but unlike larger corporations and chains, the owners and employees live right here. They’re our neighbors, too.
When this epidemic finally passes, we’ll need these talented, motivated people and their wonderful products and services to be here with us still, in our community.
So, please redouble your commitment to patronizing these businesses and organizations. If you don’t feel comfortable going in person—or can’t—you still can help by:
- Ordering in. Many businesses have started or increased delivery service.
- Picking up. In the Harrisburg area, many businesses will deliver right to your idling car.
- Taking out gift cards. Spend now, buy later. Front-load it, helping the cash flow of your favorite businesses in the process.
- Some businesses and organizations will take direct contributions.
There are probably a hundred other ways to help. Go to your favorite businesses’ websites or social media pages or call them to find out what you can do to ensure their survival.
Lastly, I want to thank all of our health care, emergency and other essential workers who are toiling long hours to keep us safe and see us through this crisis. From TheBurg to you—thank you!