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Challenges: Small businesses need our help during crisis

In these extraordinary times, nearly every one has faced some kind of challenge as a result of the attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. Among the hardest hit will be small business owners — especially if those small businesses are restaurants, bars, or depend on larger gatherings of people.

According to the Wall Street Journal, small business confidence is at its lowest in nearly seven years.

“Owners of businesses from restaurants and yoga studios to marketing and manufacturing firms are making tough choices,” the WSJ reporter wrote.

Mid-Ohio Valley small businesses are no different. But they are trying to adapt.

Let’s make sure they can.

Orders from West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Ohio’s health department mean many are switching to delivery or carry-out, if they are able.

That means you can still enjoy your favorite local fare … you just need to do it somewhere else. (And please, don’t skimp on those tips, just because you did not get table service.) In fact, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce has said he plans to make parking downtown free for 15-minute intervals, to accommodate those who are coming downtown to pick up take-out orders.

We spend a lot of time, on Small Business Saturday, for example, talking about the importance of these small/locally owned businesses to our economy as a whole. Our support for them now — this year — might be even more important than a few weeks in November and December.

Federal stimulus efforts appear to be on their way, and are important. The support we can give right here in our communities is just as important. We must do our best, while taking all precautions of course, to make sure our small/locally owned businesses know we are here for them. We will do all we can to help them get through this.

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