The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt almost everyone’s life. While the disruptions are necessary for the health of all, they also tear at the fabric of the community.
Our school doors remain shut meaning teachers, students, and parents will experiment with distance learning for the first time. Spiritual leaders are performing services in front of empty pews, reaching their flock via the internet. Families are separated for fear of spreading the disease, especially to those who are most at risk. The ability to gather as friends and family has suddenly been taken away and, in some cases, our freedom to go where and when we please curtailed.
These sacrifices alone are bad enough, but that’s not the end of it. The nation’s economy is taking a beating. Factories are shutting down, workers laid off. Business closings are happening everywhere.
Maybe most big box stores will survive, but it’s these small, local businesses that are most at risk. These are the restaurants, salons, spas, and many other enterprises in our community that can least afford to take this kind of economic hit. They are owned by our friends and neighbors, and their businesses are the lifeblood of Blount County’s economy. They are a part of our everyday lives, and they are all essential.
The Blount Countian, itself a small business, recognizes the dangers small businesses face and wants to help by making the paper’s website available to any business in the county that has had to change the way it normally operates. Some are providing curb-side pickups, some offer delivery. Others are taking telephone and online orders. Selling gift certificates for the day when normalcy returns is another strategy. Blount County business owners are smart and innovative, and the paper wants to help.
FOR NO CHARGE, we will create a centralized list on our website, www.blountcountian.com, to let customers know your business is still operating. As restrictions ease and others are allowed to reopen, we will continue to add to that list. We will do our best to keep the information current, but please help us keep it up to date.
Send the following information to email@example.com: Business name, location, preferred manner of contact, website, telephone, email address, goods or services provided, and how business is currently being conducted.
There is no denying that times are hard, but there will be an end to this. Blount County has proven time and again it can weather any storm. We will get through this together.