SoWal Businesses: Help small businesses get through this!

Discussion in 'Business, Goods and Services' started by Teresa, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    It's the first day of Spring! The weather is perfect. Spring break is in full swing. And coronavirus has become an emergency health crisis everywhere. Even here on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

    Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our South Walton community. During this time we are all working to protect the health and safety of our businesses, families and friends as we each do our best during this pandemic event.

    Schools are closed. Universities are closed and moving to online classes. Toilet paper is nowhere to be found. Events are canceled. Walton and Okaloosa Counties have temporarily closed the beaches as of today. Restaurants and businesses have specific regulations they must meet for health and safety.

    Our local businesses and resort towns are making difficult choices and taking proactive steps in response to health and safety guidelines, science, mandates and ethical concerns.

    We can support our local businesses in many ways in the days and weeks to come.
    We are all in this together.

    Sheltering at home is very critical at this time. Whether you are staying home, working in an office, a construction project or in a restaurant...
    Use every precaution to stay healthy.

    Many of you are listening to the science, learning the guidelines and taking necessary precautions.. sheltering in place, working at home and staying at home for the time being. At the same time, our local businesses are making necessary adjustments, changing how they deliver services, and adapting as much as possible. And many of our businesses will close for the time being.

    Our actions will impact the jobs of all those working on the front line such as health care providers, grocery store employees, essential service providers, fire and emergency medical responders, police security and safety services, etc.

    We're all in this together. Our community is creative, strong and resilient. You demanded leadership from our County. We have the obligation to meet this challenge. And we will.

    Let us support our businesses, respect their decisions and unique challenges, and make social distancing our priority at the same time. Together, yet apart, we can connect. We can do this.

    • Check on your family. Shout out to neighbors and friends.
    • Thank Publix staff!! And everyone working hard to keep us supplied with goods and necessities. Keeping stores clean and stocked every day.
    • Shop local and small when you need supplies. Many of our local shops are open with restrictions and curbside pickup, and some are planning delivery.
    • Purchase gift cards when you can. Use them as gifts or use later.
    • Shop small online. Many local businesses have online shops!
    • Don't hoard supplies. Share when you can.
    • Wash your hands.
    • Order takeout.
    • Understand hard decisions.
    • Check in with associates and employees.
    • Stay home.
    • Use grocery delivery or pickup service.
    • Follow our local artists and musicians and see what they are doing online. Support their work.
    • Follow local businesses on Facebook and Instagram for updates. Give them likes and support online. Ask questions. Share their updates with your friends.

    SoWal businesses, you can use the SoWal Community Forums to post updates about your business. Let us know how we can help get the word out.

    Other helpful suggestions for supporting local business? Please comment...


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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Please FOLLOW our local businesses on Facebook and other social media. Find their updates and share the news to your friends. Post anything you really like and think is outstanding business here in the SoWal Community Forums! Give them a shout out wherever and whenever you can.

    We have many restaurants and shops with GREAT websites and social media channels - some with online ordering, online shopping, online gift certificates. Use some of your time while you STAY HOME to find ways to support our community.

    GIFT CERTIFICATES! Get them whenever you can.

    ORDER FOOD TO GO! It's the new thing and a good answer to today's social distancing practice. Our restaurants are quickly responding and announcing pickup and curbside services. Watch the SoWal Dining Forum for food and restaurant news.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  3. Abby Prentiss

    Abby Prentiss Beach Fanatic

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    Great ideas! Thanks for keeping us updated.
     
  4. outofadream

    outofadream Beach Lover

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    How about purchasing a couple of gift cards and giving them to our sheriffs or health care workers. They are risking their lives for us by being out there keeping things in order and taking care of the sick while they have loved ones to take care of feed and worry about back at home. They could use the card for themselves or to pick up to go food to take home to their families
     
  5. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Love this!
    Do you mind if I steal it and post it on social media? A great way to support our restaurants while helping our first responders!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  6. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Lover

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    The big problem for many small businesses is that they are driven by tourism and tourism has dried up for an unknown period of time. It really is a sad situation for the people who have invested everything they have into a business and for their revenue to dry up at a time when business should be at it's peak. It's important to support local small businesses, but locals alone probably can't provide what's necessary. And when this crisis is over, I doubt that the tourists will return in large numbers. I hope people have saved for a rainy day.
     
  7. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Obviously. We are a tourism economy. All the eggs are in one basket. Real estate and development is big but tied to tourism. Losing most of a spring season is tough, but we have been through similar before with oil spill, hurricanes, etc. It is a challenge, but most businesses will be OK.

    As for tourism returning, never underestimate the power of losing something you love. Our beach is going to be in very high demand again. There will be a surge back to SoWal of folks who have had to stay home a few weeks in Atlanta, Birmingham, Houston, Nashville, Dallas, Chicago, etc.

    Meanwhile, we are all in this together. Locals help locals. Let's remain positive and do all we can to help each other. The point of the original post.
     
  8. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    We are going to be fine. The one and only reason people come here is the beach, and at this time, nobody is out there crapping it up and mother nature is playing nice. I know I am really looking forward to getting back out on it and am confident plenty of tourists look forward to the same. This time next year we will probably be back to bemoaning the spring breakers :lol:

    I hope that we take a serious look at the health infrastructure after this blows over. Are we really ready to handle the medical needs of thousands of elderly folks moving down here to fill up St Joe's developments? Lots of opportunity for smart growth exists, and this might be a catalyst for such.
     
  9. outofadream

    outofadream Beach Lover

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    Teresa..get the word out there anyway you choose! I’m suggesting this to my friends family neighbors etc..Word of mouth still works too! I am in sales and marketing and my job is to come up with Ways for my clients to be successful
     

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