In the April 2020 Print EditionMar 30, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
So let’s all step back and take a breath. By now, just about everyone has been affected by the coronavirus in one way or another. Our number-one concern should be our health, and for many that’s the case. But let's face it, people are also extremely concerned with how economically healthy they are—how they are going to put food on the table, keep the lights and the heat on, and pay the bills.
The government is promising help, but how much and when? And what about the people that don't fit into their specific categories? For example, Independent contractors and sole proprietors pay plenty of money into social security, but cannot collect unemployment because they own the business, even though the business has essentially died--or is in a coma. Sure, there will be small business loans available if you can navigate through the bureaucracy and actually obtain one, but who wants to be on the hook for a loan that you're not sure you'll ever be able to repay? Because let's face it, for some businesses, there will simply be no coming back from this. (There is supposed to be a loan forgiveness feature, but more research on that is necessary.)
Business owners—of small businesses in particular—are concerned about their family, employees, customers, and finally themselves, in about that order. When we start to return to some kind of normalcy, we’re going to have to pick up the pieces. And while we're doing that, we need to remember to support the local businesses that always support our community.
Once the state of emergency is eventually lifted, and you decide to go to the big box store or to continue ordering everything online, please think about your neighbors first, the local businesses that support the little league, the local school fundraisers and the ham and bean suppers. They are going to need us now more than ever—and the Bellingham Bulletin needs them to advertise more than ever in order for us to keep delivering reliable town news to your door. (The Master Plan Implementation Committee's 2019 survey of residents showed the Bellingham Bulletin to be the number one source for town news.)
Please remember that local businesses are invested in our community; they hire locally, deliver better service, and they can bring in visitors from surrounding towns. So please support local businesses and particularly the businesses that advertise in the Bellingham Bulletin.
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