The importance of supporting local businesses during the pandemic

WESTERN MARQUETTE COUNTY — Stores and restaurants across the country have been forced to close their doors or limit their services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many local restaurants are still open for carry-out, and they need the support of the community now more than ever.

Area restaurants are finding ways to stay in business and continue to serve the public while following social distancing protocols. The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce released a list of member businesses that are currently offering takeout or curbside pickup.

GINCC Executive Director Bob Hendrickson says that continuing to support local business owners helps the community financially and socially, and there are a number of ways to do so. 

“To step away from all of our norms would be socially and economically detrimental,” said Hendrickson. “So even if you’re not comfortable with going to a business, you can at least purchase a gift card online or give that business a call and saying, ‘I’ve been thinking about you, I want to make sure you’re okay, and I hope we get through this together.’ It’s not even having to buy at this time; just letting businesses know that you’re thinking of them.”

Hendrickson hopes that bringing the community together to support local businesses during this challenging time will help the economy in the long run. It will also show people that they aren’t alone.

“Our slogan for now is ‘We’re all in this together,’” Hendrickson said. “That’s one of the things that we’re trying to promote. As a business community, we’re not just helping our membership, but we want to make sure our whole economy makes it through.”

A list of businesses offering take-out services at this time can be found here. Some locations have changed their hours of operation, so it is recommended that customers call or go online to check when those services are available.