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How can we continue to support our region’s small businesses?

Our lives have all taken a dramatic turn in the last few weeks. Our community, which was built on the backs of hard-working, blue-collar workers, has faced many challenges throughout its history, but nothing like the one we are facing today.

It has been encouraging, however, to see so many of our local businesses adapt so quickly to the quickly, evolving climate, offering curbside pickups, home deliveries, online sales, live-streamed performances and so much more. Our local educators have also joined in with daily online book readings for our students.

Our small businesses are a major contributing factor in making our community unique and different. They provide us a place to not only eat, drink, obtain services, or make purchases, more importantly they provide a space to meet, bond, support and make us feel as though we belong to something bigger and greater than ourselves.

Our Juniata River Valley is strong and resilient, If we all join forces and work together, we can come out of this stronger and more appreciative of each other. As a representative of the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce, I encourage you to consider doing one or more of the following to support our local economy:

¯ Purchase a gift card online to use at a later date, this helps ensure continued cash flow.

¯ Choose a different local business or organization every day and leave a positive review or comment on Facebook, Google or Yelp. This costs nothing, but means everything.

¯ Tip a service provider in advance for future services such as: hairdressers, dog groomers, baristas, servers, nail techs etc. So many of them depend on tips to make ends meet.

¯ Have a local restaurant or coffee shop charge your card and donate the food, coffee, or service to a health care professional, first responder or another essential business employee that is out there working to keep us safe and providing for our needs.

Once you have chosen which way you wish to help, be sure to let everyone know. Post it, share it, tell everyone and invite others to do the same.

None of us have the ability to control what is happening to us right now, but we can control how we come together in solidarity as a community to support our own. Let’s make the conscious decision to #ChooseOptimism and check on one another as we support our local businesses.

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If the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce can be of assistance in any way during this time contact me, Rhonda S. Moore, Executive Director at rhondam@juniatarivervalley.org. Also, check the Chamber’s Facebook page for business and community related COVID-19 updates.

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