NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the March 12, 2021 Bloomington Herald-Times.
Was it really only a year ago when businesses were bracing for the pandemic tsunami and preparing to hunker down?
We’ve all gone through so much during the past 12 months. Like almost everyone else, we’re beyond eager to put the pandemic behind us. You can almost feel the vibrations of pent-up energy as temperatures warm, vaccinations roll out and COVID-19 case numbers decline.
As the restrictions we’ve been working under start to relax, please remember our local businesses as you make plans to get out and about in ways you haven’t done for the past year.
The next two months are crucial. Many businesses count on revenues they make now in order to carry them through the summer, when things are typically slower and sales are down. That’s true in any year, but even more so as we emerge from the pandemic. For many businesses, these past 12 months have seen sales plummet. Facing a sluggish summer makes it all the more important to boost sales now, especially for businesses that cater to students.
To help spur Buy Local excitement, we’re working on some ideas that we’ll be announcing soon. Meanwhile, keep in mind all the local businesses that are hanging on and needing your support – restaurants, florists, bike shops, entertainment venues, clothing stores, gift shops and so many more. Every dollar counts in making sure the businesses that form the backbone of our community survive.
That said, it’s important to add a caveat to efforts that shore up the business community and the thousands of jobs that they provide. The threat of the COVID-19 virus doesn’t simply switch off like the end of Daylight Saving Time. We still need to be cautious, keeping masks on where appropriate, social distancing wherever possible, and washing our hands until they’re cleaner than clean.
So we’ll take prudent precautions as we move into this post-pandemic world. That doesn’t diminish our optimism for the future.
It’s been a long winter. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that delicate purple crocuses are starting to emerge. Like those harbingers of spring, our business community is ready to burst into the fullness of a healthy, revived local economy. The Chamber has over 800 local members who are ready to serve you. They’re counting on all of us to help them thrive. Not sure where to drop in first? Visit www.chamberbloomington.org to search our business directory for a comprehensive list of trusted local businesses you can visit as we head into spring.
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