A letter from the publisher

21 May 2020 | 02:05

Dear reader,

These are unprecedented times for all of us. We’ve entered what opinion columnist David Brooks calls “the endurance phase of this pandemic.”

Though many feel scared, we must find ways to live with the coronavirus in our midst - washing our hands a lot, practicing social distancing and wearing masks out in public.

“Endurance is patience,” writes Brooks. “In fact, it is finding you can adapt and turn the strangest circumstance into routine.... So far as a country we are hanging in with one another. And we’re in a process of discovery. We’re slowly learning the strange features of this disease, slowly improvising what will be a wide variety of local ways forward. Endurance is not static. It’s slowly learning, slowly adjusting.”

As a third-generation small independently owned businesses, we know that no matter how the ground shifts around us, small independently owned businesses remain the bedrock of our community. By their very existence, the stores that line our Main Street contribute mightily to who and what we are, who and what we want to be.

It’s one thing for the government to permit businesses to re-open. It’s another thing for each of us to take the time to find a local business online or drive a couple minutes further to support the mom and pop shop, versus ordering from a big box store or Amazon.

If we want to regain something resembling the town and community we called ours pre-pandemic, it’s our responsibility to support independently owned business.

The time is now.

Small businesses are the engines of job creation, accounting for 64 percent of the net new private sector jobs, according to the Small Business Administration. They operate and hire locally, which impacts not only the local economy, but the overall health of our community. One study found that for every $100 a person spends at a local business, $68 stays in the community, compared to only $43 of every $100 spent at a chain store. Not to mention what happens to the $100 spent on Amazon.

When you shop at small businesses, tax dollars stay put. And because local businesses tend also to buy locally, more of the profits from their economic activity get pumped back into the community.

Here at Straus News, here’s what we’re doing to support local businesses:

Free Re-Open for Business Listing: To help our 175,000 weekly print readers and 150,000 digital readers find out where to shop, we’ll be listing for free local businesses that are re-opening. If you’re a business that is re-opening, call your account executive or our President Jeanne Straus 845-469-9000 ext. 312.

Recognizing Our Readers Who Shop Local: We’ve been writing about the remarkable first responders, the generous businesses supporting them with food donations and the people volunteering at food pantries. Now we’re going to start recognizing people who shop locally.

Each week we’ll publish the names of “Super Local Shoppers:” people who shopped locally whether in person or online and sent us a photo of what they purchased (other than groceries). One local shopper will be drawn at random each week to win $50 to be spent with one of our advertisers.

Discounted “Matching” Advertising for Businesses that are Re-opening: We have all different size campaigns and ideas. Call your account executive or Jeanne Straus at 845-469-9000 ext. 312 to find out how we can help.

And we hope everyone in the community will make renewed efforts to shop and do business in town. See you there.

Stay safe,

Jeanne Straus

Publisher