An Echo Press Editorial: Let’s reward our resilient businesses
By the Echo Press Editorial Board
Businesses in Douglas County deserve credit for getting creative and doing all they can to bounce back from the pandemic.
They could’ve quit. They could’ve folded up their tent months ago. They could’ve gotten bitter and resentful and shut down their business out of spite. But they’re still out there, fighting to hang on, trying to keep as many employees working as their bottom line allows.
Yes, some had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close and that’s OK too (here’s hoping they come back better than ever) but others are still trying to make a go of it. Many local bar-restaurants, for instance, completely revamped their menus and are offering take-out, delivery and curbside pick-up.
Here are just a few examples: Fat Daddy’s started offering family meal packs of chicken alfredo, BBQ ribs, broasted chicken or pizza. The Corral Saloon and Eatery came up with a chicken bucket idea with several options – chicken only, chicken with sides, family style, even a 40-piece party pack. Traveler’s Inn decided to offer four different types of breakfast meals to go. It also whipped up a big batch of tater tot hot dish for a week, calling it Comfort Food 101. Pike and Pint Grill launched take-out daily specials, such as buy one burger, get one half-off. DJ’s Tap House and Grill started a new take and bake pizza menu and transformed its dining area to offer a variety of clothing, merchandise and Christmas gift ideas. COVID-19 hasn’t stopped La Ferme from collecting new rare wines and starting a December Wine Club.
Angelina’s Restaurant and Bar included this upbeat message on its Facebook page: “We are blessed to live in and around the Alexandria community. This is an amazing place to be. While we are so grateful for your help in getting through this, please remember our fellow restaurants and bars around the area.” Angelina’s then included links to 15 other Alexandria restaurants, calling them “friends,” not competitors, who are all working hard to provide families with delicious meals.
Angelina’s ended its post with this: “We're all in this together and we need to support one another. Your local gift shops, hardware stores, clothing stores – everyone. We have to work together to make it out on the other side.”
Space prohibits us to list all the restaurants’ ideas to drum up business so we encourage people to check out their advertisements in the Echo Press or visit their websites. Their resiliency can’t be overstated.
So how can local residents show their support, not only to local restaurants, but also to the small businesses that are going through such challenging times right now? The obvious answer is to give them your business instead of a faceless behemoth like Amazon. Think before you click on buying something. A local store may have just what you are looking for – and the customer service to back it up. Remember, the dollars you spend locally not only stay local but also multiply as the money moves through the local economy, providing jobs and boosting tax revenues.
There are other ways to help too.
For starters, let’s fill up Christmas stockings with gift cards. Many local businesses are offering specials right now, such as buying $50 in gift cards and getting a $10 gift card free. One piece of advice along with that: Wait a few months before redeeming the gift card. They really need the help now to bridge their cash-flow gap.
Another way is to simply show your support. Give them a great review on their social media sites and rave up the business to your friends and coworkers. Leave a bigger-than-normal tip. Tell them how much you appreciate them and the job they’re doing.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of Douglas County. They help make this community unique and define who we are. Ten years from now, let’s look back at this pandemic and remember how we got through it with resiliency from our small businesses and the community’s widespread support.