These are difficult and confusing times for all of us, and my prayers and thoughts are with every family and loved one that has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
It is at times like this that I am most thankful for the Edible family and the opportunity we have to make a difference in so many communities. Our franchisees have mobilized nationwide to work with local distributors to provide home delivery of fruit and produce to those not able to get to their local supermarket or have found empty shelves when they get there.
As large gatherings are no longer happening, we know that families and friends still want to recognize special occasions such as birthday or anniversaries. Our franchisees are doing what they can to make these occasions more convenient and less expensive by eliminating delivery charges.
They do this, even as they — like other small business owners around the world — are feeling the tremendous strain of this crisis on their business.
While it helps that our franchisees have access to the resources of a national franchise network, there are many, many small business owners who are facing a battle for survival that looks as if it could last months.
It is not an easy time to be a small business owner in these situations. I’ve been there.
For owners of small businesses, the most important thing I can share from my experience is to make sure you take care of your customers. Be appreciative of every order. Realize that many may have had their income reduced, so every dollar they are spending with you is even more precious. Do everything you can to service them and help them ease whatever need your business addresses.
I have found time after time that if you take care of your customers they will take care of you.
If you are the customer of a small business, continue to support them in whatever way you can if at all possible.
Most importantly, be on the lookout for those hardest hit in your community. Do what you can to take care of the most vulnerable, especially our elders. In times like this charity is needed more than ever. Now is the time to give back to your community, even if it is nothing more than offering some time and attention.
It really does take a village in times like this.
Many of us have been through similar situations before, whether it was the panic and uncertainty following 9/11, the painful climb out of the Great Recession or perhaps a local or personal crisis.
That doesn’t make our current situation any easier, of course, but if there is a lesson to be learned from past times of crisis, it is that if we all support each other WE WILL make it through this together.