ANC Features Local Businesses’ Creative Solutions to COVID-19 Financial Damage

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These are tough, scary, unprecedented times for everyone. Not only has the COVID-19 caused a global health panic, but it’s also damaged many businesses and put them in financial danger of closing as the obedient public complies with social distancing guidelines, choosing to self-quarantine, only venturing from home to secure the bare essentials.

Meanwhile, here in the north state, many small businesses and restaurants face potentially devastating economic hardships that could destroy what they’ve worked so hard to build as even the most loyal, adoring former customers shelter in place.

Maybe you are a business-owner in that position, or maybe you know someone like that who’s hanging on by a thin thread, minus a safety net.

Trying times call for trying new things to survive. And times of crisis call for times of creativity.

Has your business – especially restaurants – adopted creative solutions to retain customers and employees during this COVID-19 crisis?

ANC is here to help you get the word out by waiving our press release fees and publishing your solutions and information in our Community Announcement category.

Maybe you own a restaurant and have decided to borrow a page from the old drive-in restaurants, where menus were printed outside on big signs, and employees met the customers outside to take orders, delivered to the parking lot.

Or maybe your company has started doing its own delivery for the first time, which is exactly what La Cabana Mexican Restaurant now offers. 

(Side note: Yes, there are a few corporate restaurant-delivery companies, but for a struggling business, the hefty portion taken by the delivery company, on top of whatever the customer is paying, is cost-prohibitive. That’s why some restaurants have started having their own employees deliver food.)

Perhaps you’re accepting online orders for the first time. Or maybe you’re making house calls to take care of everything from hair styling and music lessons to pet-grooming and car-detailing.

Granted, there are some occupations that have to operate just exactly where they are. But maybe there’s some way to regulate the number of customers inside the business at one time, or they can take measures to ensure a minimum of six feet between people. Basically, it’s time to do something unconventional, because it’s a matter of business life and death.

There may even be some people who have no choice but give up what they were doing before, and are forced to reinvent themselves by earning a living that meets some societal need that didn’t exist before the COVID-19 crisis. I have no clue what that might be, but I have faith that our north state’s resourceful people will join forces to help each other figure out how to not just survive, but thrive, using whatever tools and resources we each have.

That’s where ANC comes in. We want to share our online information platform with north state businesses that are experiencing dire circumstances because of the coronavirus emergency.

We are waiving our usual press release fees and invite those businesses to submit their creative business adaptations to ANC for publication in the Community Announcement category. Our home page has slots for four Community Announcement posts at a time, but you can click on “More Community Announcements” to see the entire list of all the posts. And you can also find these posts in our COVID-19 section. The tab’s located on ANC’s nav bar, which you can see in this screen grab below.

Email your information to submissions.anewscafe@gmail.com with the words “COVID business crisis” in the subject line.

Please take pity on Barbara Rice, ANC’s extraordinary admin assistant, and try to keep things as brief and simple as possible.

  • First, we need a short headline that describes your biggest change, such as: La Cabana Mexican Restaurant Now Delivers.
  • Next, please attach one image (jpeg or png), such as your logo or a photo of your business, or you, if you want. (Not all three.)
  • Last, describe exactly what steps you’ve taken to respond to the crisis. Stepped-up sanitation techniques? Distancing customers? Parking lot order-taking? Delivery within a certain range? Huge parking-lot menus? House calls? Small, private parties? Online purchasing?

Finally, perhaps you’re a customer, someone who’s avoiding going out in public to visit your favorite businesses. Maybe you have ideas that some businesses might try, concepts that might make you and other customers more inclined to continue your patronage of various places. If so, speak up in the comments section below, and share your ideas. No matter how small, those suggestions might be a matter of business life or death for someone.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Annelise says:

    Excellent idea!!!

  2. Avatar Candace says:

    I love this! So smart!

  3. Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

    As ever, ANC steps up and does something constructive to help – kudos for helping people get the word out, Doni! Sitting over here in the Highlands, cheering you on! xo

  4. Avatar Mario says:

    GrubHub has suspended the commission fees they charge independent restaurants. Not sure about the other services.

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