Certainly we are all becoming very aware, in one way or another, of how this COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our lives and our community. The other day, I thanked several employees in the grocery store for coming to work and dealing with the pandemonium. I had a lovely conversation with a senior citizen, keeping 6 feet between us, although I would have always given her a hug. I am texting my grandchildren instead of visiting them. I am asking for blessings for our caregivers and first responders holding down the front line.
I intend to order carryout to support our local restaurants. I will buy gift cards from local businesses to use either for myself or for donations. But I am truly concerned for our small businesses.
I was a small-business owner in downtown Frederick for many years, long ago. A time when there were many vacant storefronts and not enough jobs to fill the needs of local citizens. I have not forgotten stretching dollars to meet the bills. I have not forgotten the work of associations and committees who were envisioning a bright future for Frederick County citizens to enjoy and prosper.
Now I am looking to see who will uphold and sustain that vision. Which landlord will be the first to cut into their profits in order to sustain our small businesses? Which vendor will extend their credit limit? Which higher-paid employee will give up a vacation/personal leave day to sustain another employee?
I would like to shake their hands, give them a hug when they do. But of course, that would have to wait. Hopefully, just until we're done sheltering in our homes.