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Support local businesses

Restrictions are coming swiftly to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we try to wrap our minds around the ramifications of its effect on our families and community, we see a change in people. The surreal comparison of then and now makes us appreciate how fortunate we are.

With these changes we feel more empathy as we see the toll it is taking on the people around us. Many people asking the “What if?” questions about this crisis, and maybe panicking or pitching in and help. Rather than panic, what we’ve seen in our communities is people showing genuine compassion and pulling together and supporting one another. Whether it is a waitress with a family who has lost her job, or a local restaurant that can’t pay the rent, our community has always gone beyond expectations and joined in to help.

Now our local businesses need your help and support. Did you know small businesses generate 44% of the U.S.’s economic activity? They create the majority of jobs — 1.5 million annually, which is 64% of new jobs created in the U.S. (according to the Small Business Administration).

Our local businesses have always supported our communities by donating goods, services to clubs and organizations and fundraisers. We have always been an area that has come together, volunteering and creating that sense of community that you won’t find in many areas. Proof of this is how our local businesses have generously donated to silent auctions for fundraisers for a family in need, for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, sponsoring community events from Winter Carnival to Woodsmen’s Days, sports teams and so much more.

We encourage everyone to get take-out, delivery or curbside service at the local businesses offering that service. Support the local restaurants with a take-out meal, have items delivered or picked up — from books to prescriptions — or even pick up a growler of beer from a local brewery. Think about buying a gift certificate to a local business you can give to a friend or use later. That gives the business a little bit of cash flow now, when they really need it.

Many of our businesses need your help now, or else you won’t have them after this pandemic is over. By helping them, you help your community and the people they employ. So do your part and support them now — and tip big, if you can.

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