At Aroundabout Local Media, we are blessed to work with some amazing small business owners each month. We decided not to keep that good news to ourselves, and created this feature to let our readers know the measures that our advertisers took during the recent national crisis, efforts to stay open and to help others in the community. Here are the ones who responded, by our deadline, to the following questions:
1. What creative modifications have you made to keep your business running?
2. Share something you’ve done, outside of your typical outreach, to make a difference in your community.
Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists
1. On March 12, the practice began sending business employees home, according to Lisa Haley, setting up systems for the call center, triage nurses and other personnel to continue to work. The clinical staff, which continued seeing pregnant and other patients, is periodically tested for COVID-19, wear double masks, gloves and the doctors wear goggles. Rooms are sanitized after each patient. Appointments have been spread out, along with chairs in the waiting room; some patients wait in their cars. Patients are screened before they enter the office, and some have been treated in their cars. Telemedicine also is an option.
2. Employees and doctors pray over both offices, the patients, and Northside Hospital Cherokee. In addition, pregnant patients are given masks. “Since we started giving out masks to our patients, we have had some great employees step up and offer to make them,” Haley said. “Diane Warren has been working tirelessly sewing masks for our patients. She has enlisted her neighbors, raised funds to cover costs, and refuses to take a cent for her time. Now, Cherokee Women’s is funding her efforts since we feel it is important to make sure every patient has a mask.”
678-217-7770 Woodstock, 770-479-0847 Canton
1. At press time, 7Tequilas Inc. President Tracy Garcia said the company is offering delivery, as well as curbside and on-site pickup. The outside pick-up station is marked where each person should stand, 6 feet apart. An online option was added to expedite orders, as well as a way to purchase gift cards.
2. “As a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant, we put family first. We have school-aged kids and know the situation our community is in right now,” Garcia said. The kids-eat-free special has been extended to two days – Monday and Tuesday – when parents get a free kids meal when purchasing one adult meal. Another kids-eat-free program helps parents struggling economically; families that would like more information about this program can contact the restaurant manager directly. “Being part of this community, we are more than happy to help when we can,” Garcia said.
First Baptist Woodstock
1. “Within our church, it inspires us to see small groups and other ministries utilizing video conferencing and other tools to meet and fellowship without putting anyone at risk,” said Morgan Crohn, lead director of communications. The deaf ministry pastor is creating videos in American Sign Language to convey messages of hope and love directly through Livestream. “Although we miss seeing each other face-to-face, we are encouraged to know we can still join together as a church via livestream through various social platforms.”
2. “It has been our privilege to assist our community during this crisis. Following the example of Jesus, we desire to equip our people with resources to serve those around us during this time,” Crohn said. “Due to the outrageous generosity of the community, we have been able to facilitate supplying food and essentials to those in need. It’s an honor to partner with
the Cherokee school system to provide meals for students while they are away from school.”
Citadel Professional Services
1. Don Akridge said it has been his firm’s busiest season, with clients’ taxes and financial advisory services. “We’ve simply kept everything reasonably close to normal and easy, to the extent that current circumstances have permitted. Many of our services and communications are provided electronically, by mail delivery services, and by telephone. We focus on practicing client (and our) well-being through reasonable and sensible precautions while sustaining a high level of client contact, comfort and satisfaction.” While handshakes and hugs are generally avoided, there is rarely more than one client at a time in the office.
2. Citadel has enhanced electronic communications with clients and the community at large, continuing to provide volunteer CPA, board and financial services to the Georgia National Cemetery Advisory Council in Canton.
St. Joseph Catholic School
1. Ann Frazer, director of enrollment and communications, said the school didn’t miss any instructional time, going from a brick-and-mortar to a home-learning environment in one weekend. Morning announcements, pledges and prayers for the students are recorded and shared. Teachers use Google classroom, Google meet and other online resources to keep students engaged. The front office staff fields daily calls and emails, and a virtual tour has been designed for potential students.
2. Each week starts with Mission Monday, when an outreach is chosen for students to engage in. Missions have included: writing to mail carriers or sanitation workers to show appreciation for their hard work; making lunches at MUST Ministries; donating to the food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul.