Small businesses need help

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By Dennis Richardson

What ever happened to Mom, Pop and the business?
Well, what I mean is what happened to all the small “mom and pop” businesses? This list includes the gift shops, fast-foods, salons, small diners, convenience stores, and stuff like that? Most are reopening slowly, Some never will.
In my opinion if it is safe for the larger retailers to be open then it is safe (or maybe safer) for the smaller businesses. If 300 in one big store are safe then it seems to me that the handful that shop small stores should be safer.
Tennesseans are smart enough to not endanger themselves nor their families and store owners will surely take the same precautions for their employees. The same “social distancing” and cleaning rules (and masks) that the larger stores have in place will work in smaller businesses.
The requirement for smaller businesses to close or offer drive-through only has been a huge boost to the bottom line for the nationally-owned big stores. If there is any doubt about this, just look at the stock market charts. More easily, just look at the bulging parking lots. I would think that any mall business would be over-joyed with 10% of the business that the larger stores attract.
COVID-19 and regulations trained us to rely on the few large stores and forget the smaller ones. We even tolerate long lines. I would suspect the recent blow we blame on COVID-19 will force many struggling businesses to close forever. Maybe that is the strategy.
I believe our economy was strong enough on January 1, 2020 to weather the COVID-19 effects, but some already financially-strapped and heavily-leveraged businesses may not have the resources to weather this storm.
Smaller businesses, now more than ever, need more people to shop there for goods and services. Those over age 65 or who have underlying health issues and do not wish to get out still have the option to stay home. Send a younger family member, especially if they are getting out for supplies anyway. Some stores have begun offering delivery services. Tip them well.
We really need all businesses to reopen now so that the owners can hopefully pay their bills.
Those who get out could visit the local merchants that we rely on to publish the news each week in print and daily online. They are easy to identify – look them up in this edition.
Readers have probably noticed that the local newspaper is much thinner than usual. Content is largely dependent on what advertising support there is to pay the print bill, the postage and delivery fees … and our staff.
There is the option to print monthly or online only. We do not think our subscribers would like that.
Whatever the plan, we hope that you stay safe and healthy.
Read more newspapers.
Dennis Richardson is the CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, Inc., which owns the Chester County Independent.

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The Chester County Independent is a weekly newspaper, published on Thursdays, serving Chester County, Tennessee.

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