The quarantine has affected all of us in many different ways. Some folks have been laid off or furloughed, while others work from home. Stay-at-home parents are dealing with more time with the kids and trying to keep things quiet for the conference call in the other room or even the same room. Working parents are trying to balance their workloads and homeschooling their kids. Furloughed workers are trying to make the money stretch, while also taking the time to give back and find some good to do in the world. Hospital workers, first responders, lab workers, and other heroes are doing everything they can to protect their families from possible exposure while also trying to do all the normal duties of life. Large corporations are trying to adjust to having workers at home and the effects that can have on productivity – positively or negatively. In short, we are all affected in one way or another. We have also seen small businesses respond in a few different ways.
Essential businesses are doing all they can to protect their customers and workers to stop the spread of the virus while trying to keep afloat. Some are wearing masks and limiting customer contact as much as possible. Some have gone to online payments and online order processing. Lawyers and insurance agents are meeting online instead of in-person as much as they can. Yoga and dance studios are going to online classes. These businesses are struggling and their profit margins are not high enough to sustain the major dip in sales they are seeing.
My handyman business is doing as much outdoor work as we can without entering the home. We are doing staining, screening, and pressure-washing of porches and decks. We are painting and repairing siding. We will continue to work and serve customers as long as the hardware stores stay open. Please be courteous as you go to the hardware store to pick up supplies for home projects and know that some folks are not there for projects for their home.
Restaurants and Bars
As we all are painfully aware, restaurants and bars have been forced to all but close their doors. It has been interesting to see how some have responded who had not relied on carry-out orders before and how quickly they got systems in place. Be sure to support these businesses as much as you can. Not all of them will be around when all this is all over.
Some businesses were not able to make the transition online or continue offering services like hairdressers, barbers, and childcare centers who don’t serve essential workers. They are trying to cut expenses as much as they can to be able to open back up in a strong position when this is all over. Make sure to frequent these as soon as you can, do anything you can to support them in this downtime.
It’s a sad reality that we have already seen. Some businesses were forced to shut down completely with no ability to pick back up when this is over. Maybe they were already struggling or just didn’t have enough money to be able to weather this storm. This is true for both small businesses and large businesses. It’s a risk we all take when we start a business but let’s do all that we can to keep this from happening to as many businesses in Johnston County as possible!
What can we do?
Let’s all find ways to frequent the places we can. Let’s buy gift cards, merchandise, shirts, hats, and hoodies and always tip well! Be kind, buy a meal, make a mask, deliver something to a doorstep. Do whatever we can to help our neighbors out, both businesses and people.