Local Heroes Come in Many Forms

The courage displayed by our healthcare community in treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of inspiring. Having a relative working in an ER department, I have a heightened appreciation for the harrowing days healthcare professionals have experienced. And, those working in Police, Fire, EMT and other high-risk services deserve our equal admiration. They are all heroes in their own right.

We have all stayed the course and contributed to a good outcome in our region. Our disease metrics are now lower, and the time to open up our economy has arrived. As is appropriate in this recovery, the balance of concern is shifting from a total focus on protecting lives to a major concern for protecting livelihoods.

We have often written about how the character and culture of a community springs from neighbors who own and work in our region’s local businesses. Big box stores serve a purpose, but their long-term commitment to where we all live is just not the same. Yet, many big box stores have been permitted to remain open, while most of our locally owned businesses have been closed by mandate.

The length of time our small businesses have been forced to remain closed has been unfair, but these owners are tough, resilient Americans. They are working hard to protect and preserve the livelihoods of all those associated with their business operations. They have true grit.

This is a special issue of Smart Living Weekly. Many of our advertising customers are eager to get the word out to you and your family that they are again open for business and welcome you back. So, we have dedicated all of the pages of this issue to delivering their advertising messages. Future issues will go back to our regular, editorial format.

What types of products or services might you be in the market for? You’ll find information from just about every type of small business advertiser you could need in this power-packed issue.

Outside Product/Service advertisers encompass: Roofing, Siding, Windows, Landscaping, Gardening, Paving and more.

Automotive offers include: Auto Dealers, Auto Body Work, Auto Repair and Maintenance.
For Entertainment you could add to your home: Satellite TV, Streaming Services, Cable Systems and Internet Services.

Almost anything you may desire for the inside of your home, you’ll find here: Furniture, Flooring, Kitchen Remodeling, Home Organizational Systems, Carpet Cleaning, Blinds/Interior Design, Water Conditioning, Air Conditioning and more.

Plus, let’s not forget Healthcare, Education, Travel, Boat Repair, Retail and more.

Scott Gensler, of Gensler Gardens, has grown up in his family’s business and played an active role there for 24 years. Started in 1981, Gensler Gardens has two locations and supports 22 employees – make that 22 families.

Gensler speaks for many small business neighbors when he says, “These are very challenging times for small businesses. We have to come up with procedures that will keep our family, employees and customers safe.

“We want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. We also are dealing with the unknown. Are our customers still going to come out and shop with us? That is what we’re all wondering when we’re preparing to open our doors. I have had several customers come into the greenhouse this season thanking us for being open because it will help them with their own mental health. The fact of the matter is we need our customers just as much as they need us right now. Every one of us is essential.”

All of the small businesses in our region that have succeeded in reopening are Local Heroes in Preserving Livelihoods. And, collectively, they are responsible for greatly enabling the rich quality of life we all enjoy here.

But it can’t happen without all of us doing our part. Fact is, you are now the key in our region’s recovery.
Recovery will be accomplished through the simple act of shopping local – right now. Today. Heroes come in many forms. It’s your turn! ❚