At Aroundabout Local Media, we are blessed to work with some amazing small business owners each month. We decided not to keep that good news to ourselves, and created this feature to let our readers know the measures that our advertisers took during the recent national crisis, efforts to stay open and to help others in the community. Here are the ones who responded, by our deadline, to the following questions:
1. What creative modifications have you made to keep your business running?
2. Share something you’ve done, outside of your typical outreach, to make a difference in your community.
Manor Lake Bridgemill
1. Families aren’t allowed in the building to visit, but chairs are outside each resident’s window, allowing communication and interaction with family members. Each manager has a set time to FaceTime, Zoom, or use Google Duo with family members who can’t come to the community. “We go to the residents’ apartments and call the families from the apps, to have that face-to-face interaction,” said Brandy Robinson, director of sales and marketing. Activities and social engagement are continuing while following the 6-foot distancing rule. “Yes, Bingo still happens, but we space the residents 6-feet apart, and limit the number we allow for this activity. We may have Bingo three times a day so all residents can participate.” Meals also are delivered by our dining staff to residents’ apartments.
“On Monday, we celebrated Mrs. Cleada’s 100th birthday! This was a very special time for her. Our wonderful executive director, Kristen Rickard, decorated the dining room in pink, Mrs. Cleada’s favorite color,” Robinson said. ”We had staff and residents who wanted to participate, all wear pink. The dining area has an outside porch area that you can see while sitting in the dining room. We set up a table along the window in the dining area room, and tables outside on the porch area, for Mrs. Cleada’s family to be a part of the party. The tables inside and outside were decorated with flowers and birthday decor. Her family was able to participate while being on the porch area and Mrs Cleada sat at the table by the window. It was social distancing at its best all while still celebrating Mrs. Cleada. It was amazing!”
1. At press time, 7Tequilas Inc. President Tracy Garcia said the company is offering delivery, as well as curbside and on-site pickup. The outside pick-up station is marked where each person should stand, 6 feet apart. An online option was added to expedite orders, as well as a way to purchase gift cards.
2. “As a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant, we put family first. We have school-aged kids and know the situation our community is in right now,” Garcia said. The kids-eat-free special has been extended to two days – Monday and Tuesday – when parents get a free kids meal when purchasing one adult meal. Another kids-eat-free program helps parents struggling economically; families that would like more information about this program can contact the restaurant manager directly. “Being part of this community, we are more than happy to help when we can,” Garcia said.
Chloe’s Auto Repair
2. The Woodstock automotive service center is offering free oil changes to healthcare employees and first responders. “These guys are out there everyday, taking care of us, and right now we need to take care of them too. We all have to stick together to get through this thing,” said Deidre Parker, owner of Chloe’s.
Citadel Professional Services
1. Don Akridge said it has been his firm’s busiest season, with clients’ taxes and financial advisory services. “We’ve simply kept everything reasonably close to normal and easy, to the extent that current circumstances have permitted. Many of our services and communications are provided electronically, by mail delivery services, and by telephone. We focus on practicing client (and our) well-being through reasonable and sensible precautions while sustaining a high level of client contact, comfort and satisfaction.” While handshakes and hugs are generally avoided, there is rarely more than one client at a time in the office.
2. Citadel has enhanced electronic communications with clients and the community at large, continuing to provide volunteer CPA, board and financial services to the Georgia National Cemetery Advisory Council in Canton.
Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists
1. On March 12, the practice began sending business employees home, according to Lisa Haley, setting up systems for the call center, triage nurses and other personnel to continue to work. The clinical staff, which continued seeing pregnant and other patients, is periodically tested for COVID-19, wear double masks, gloves and the doctors wear goggles. Rooms are sanitized after each patient. Appointments have been spread out, along with chairs in the waiting room; some patients wait in their cars. Patients are screened before they enter the office, and some have been treated in their cars. Telemedicine also is an option.
2. Employees and doctors pray over both offices, the patients, and Northside Hospital Cherokee. In addition, pregnant patients are given masks. “Since we started giving out masks to our patients, we have had some great employees step up and offer to make them,” Haley said. “Diane Warren has been working tirelessly sewing masks for our patients. She has enlisted her neighbors, raised funds to cover costs, and refuses to take a cent for her time. Now, Cherokee Women’s is funding her efforts since we feel it is important to make sure every patient has a mask.”