It is truly inspiring to see how entrepreneurs are stepping up to serve their customers, as they pivot at warp speed to adapt to the new reality during the Corona virus crisis. In towns and cities across the country, we are seeing people come together for the common good and keep our communities together in these challenging times.
In Keene, New Hampshire, small businesses are banding together while they continue to compete, as restaurant owners who run out of product for take-out orders are borrowing from each other, and established merchants are advising others who have recently opened. At Ted's Shoe and Sport on Main Street, his customers needed sneakers for their walks and runs outside, and even as the owner was sad to close for now, he is busy planning a store-sponsored virtual run, with participants paying $20 to register online to do a 5K recorded on their phones. He plans to transfer 100% of the proceeds to gift cards for use at local businesses chosen by the runners.
In South Salem, New York, The Farmer's Grind Coffee Shop had planned to open March 1st, but the spread of the virus changed everything. Or did it? They opened anyway, and have been doing a brisk business on takeout. The secret to their early success? Everything at the Farmer’s Grind, from their coffee to their soups, comes from area businesses, and their decision to open is helping them too, as local vendors are keeping them operating, and busy, as they help themselves stay open.
In the Town of Kent, NY, another recently opened business has exhibited generosity to First Responders with free meals, as they try to balance philanthropy with their effort to keep their local staff employed.
Limni also offers a free meal for local students who have relied on the school lunch program to feed them, and also lowered prices on their takeout menu, in response to the uncertainty in the local economy and people losing their jobs.
These and many others are stepping up and leaning forward in this time of need to keep our communities alive and well, in the true spirit of the entrepreneur.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Thanks to those who have considered this crisis as an opportunity to reach out and support their communities, as these truly eternal optimists will keep the ovens warm and the lights burning, and show us the way forward.