We can get through this - if we support one another

March 23, 2020, 8:01 am




The cartoon above, by our talented cartoonist Patrick Lamontagne, shows the difficult situation many small businesses are now in.

Many small business owners face an agonizing decision. They want to do everything possible to keep their employees, their customers and themselves safe.

But if they shut down completely they risk becoming insolvent, and they harm their employees by laying them off, and harm their customers by ending important services that people rely on.

I spoke with several business owners last week who were contemplating layoffs who have never, ever, ever had to lay off an employee before.

Most businesses are trying hard to find ways to keep operating and providing needed services while keeping their employees and their customers safe.

But they need your help.

Small communities have a history of pulling together. When someone is in need, the whole community is there for them.

We understand in small communities just how much we rely on one another, because we see it every day.

We understand how jobs in the community are dependent on the community support for the employers. We know how important that community support is because we have seen what happens when a business has to close its doors. We have seen the effects on our friends and neighbors.

We understand just how important every person is in the community. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me they didn’t realize how important a certain person was in their community, how much they contributed, until that person moved away or passed on.

We understand that when we move forward as a community it’s because we have found ways to work together, for everyone’s benefit.

Our communities are about to be tested in ways they haven’t been in almost 100 years, since the Great Depression and the Second World War challenged our communities in myriad ways.

We came through those years, and our communities grew, and built, and prospered.

We can get through this challenge as well, and we can grow and build and prosper once more, if we work together.

We’re about to realize—again—just how important every single member of our community is.

We are fortunate in our local communities to have medical facilities staffed by true professionals, and it looks like we are going to rely heavily on them in the next few months.

And they will rely on the businesses in the community to keep operating. For the medical facilities and doctors offices to keep operating, people in the trades are sometimes needed to keep things running. For a doctor to be on call, the people who can fix technological problems or replace a cell phone are needed. Those people are important as well.

The wonderful people who operate our ambulance services and our first responders are on the front line of health care, but they rely on the people who can provide tires for the ambulance, or make the necessary repairs, or change the oil in the ambulance. Those people are important as well.

Our local doctors and nurses and all of the other staff in our medical facilities are the people we are relying on to save lives as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. And they will rely on our well-run pharmacies to get the medications to people who need them. Those people who staff the pharmacies are important as well.

And all of us will rely on our local grocery stores operating efficiently and supplying what we need. Those people who staff the groceries are important as well.

And the grocery stores, the pharmacies, and the other businesses that we will rely on to get us through this will rely on truckers being able to get the goods we need to our communities. Those truckers are vitally important as well.

And if those truckers are going to get the goods from the warehouses to our communities, we need our oil and gas workers. Those workers are important as well.

And if we are going to have food to go in those trucks to our grocery stores, we need our farmers and all the businesses in the area that support the farmers in what they do. The farmers, and all those who supply everything they need are important as well.

We have an agriculture section coming out in next week’s World-Spectator. I can tell you as this section comes together that agriculture and its supporting businesses are not shutting down—and they cannot shut down if our farmers are going to keep feeding the world. Fortunately, social distancing is fairly easy on a typical farm operation in our area.

There are countless more examples to illustrate my point about how just important every single person in our communities is as we battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, none of the activities above will be possible if town employees can’t keep the water on.
And they depend on the administrators in town offices to process their payrolls. And that depends on all of us paying our property taxes.

We are all in this together.

And now, more than ever, we need to realize that we rely on one another.

Now, more than ever, we need to support one another in our local communities.

And working together, we can get through this!