Supporting Local Businesses During the Pandemic
John Dailey - Business
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Big Bend hard, both its health and its economy. The local economies of Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla counties have lost many jobs, and some local businesses have been forced to close.
Local business organizations say some businesses adapted and grew, while others are now bouncing back.
But business leaders emphasize that full recovery will come much more quickly if everyone in the Big Bend is vaccinated against the virus, and also if all residents faithfully maintain safe and healthy practices until everyone who wants the vaccine has gotten it.
“We encourage everyone to practice safety protocols and to visit your favorite business, whether it's curbside or by going inside,” says Sue Dick, President and CEO of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Dick notes that up to 70 percent of revenue spent in local businesses remains in the community, while online buying can return little or no local benefit. “Supporting local matters.”
The pandemic has forced business owners to innovate, according to Katrina Tuggerson, president of the Capital City Chamber of Commerce. “We endeavored to think outside of the box and find new ways to keep economic activity moving forward, both online and in person. Whether Facebook LIVES, Zooms, Virtual Ribbon Cuttings, or carefully orchestrated events, we helped keep our community moving forward. Now, as availability of the vaccine improves, we will do all in our power to get ‘shots in arms’ and protect the well-being of those we serve.”
Here are some ways to find local businesses:
- The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce maintains a list of all its members. (Tally chamber)
- The Capital City Chamber of Commerce suggests using Shop Tally, a local alliance with www.swellcoin.com, which features some Tallahassee businesses: Capital City Chamber of Commerce - COVID-19 Resources
- The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce offers seven local business councils that help support local businesses: Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce - Programs
- Choose Tallahassee, a grassroots community-based organization that helps promote the community as a relocation destination, offers suggestions for great local restaurants to patronize: Choose Tallahassee - Tallahassee Restaurants
- The Market Street Merchants Association offers a guide to the Market District, a shopping and entertainment district just west of Thomasville Road near Interstate 10: The Market District - Shops Directory
The Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality is committed to working with local businesses and serving as a vital source for business resources and information during the COVID-19 pandemic. For questions and business assistance email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850) 219-1080.