With the impact of COVID-19 causing many closures throughout the Dallas County area, chambers and economic developments are actively encouraging community members to help support local businesses and establishments. This has also prompted these organizations to get creative in their operations, specifically focusing on how information and resources are shared throughout their local community.
“We have switched to online meetings and correspondence,” Grimes Chamber and Economic Development Chief Operations Officer Kayla Bruns said. “We are continuing to share as much as we can in regards to resources, loan forgiveness documents, and ongoing opportunities signed into congress that our members will benefit from via online outlets.”
One way community members can help support local establishments is by participating in online campaigns, such as the DSM Local Challenge or the Encourage Adel campaign with Iconic Apparel. They can also tag small businesses online, challenge others to shop local and leave positive reviews through online profiles.
In addition, Bruns said that the residents can show their support by just reaching out and checking in on those around them. The Grimes Chamber and Economic Development is currently encouraging residents to share on their social media outlets what businesses are open, their hours, carryout options and what specials there might be.
“We are also getting creative and encouraging community members to participate in a BINGO game posted on our Facebook page and asking folks to not only support by purchasing items but also making phone calls, writing positive reviews online, and thanking those on the front lines,” Bruns said.
The Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce has also posted videos and messages on Facebook and Instagram that encourage residents to think outside the box. The Adel Vet Clinic, for example, has gone to video medicine before seeing pets. And, pharmacies such as The Adel HealthMart and Sumpter Pharmacy will help shop for over-the-counter products, offering either curbside pick up or drive thru options.
“Now is the time to market businesses and continue keeping businesses front and center in resident's minds. We are encouraging our businesses to think of different ways they can service their customers,” Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce President Deb Bengtson said. “They are the community. Everything is impacted by our local businesses, [and] our local businesses provide services we need.”
The Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce has also recently issued a Waukee Chamber Business Report that encourages community members to “support local.” The report states that local businesses are a critical part of the Waukee community, and that they need support during this time. The report also includes important information for both business owners and community members, such as loan information, different ways the community can provide support and videos and posts on updates regarding local businesses.
Those interested in learning more about how to “support local” can view updated information on their local chamber's website or Facebook page.
“Local businesses impact our community because the owners and workers of these businesses are most times our neighbors, our friends, [or] their kids go to school with ours,” Bruns said. “They support the little league teams, the community festivals and Santa coming to town. These businesses help make up the communities that we live in so their impact is widespread and one that I think sometimes is overlooked.”