Leader Editorial: Neighbors helping neighbors, supporting local business

It may seem have we found ourselves — collectively as a community, state and as a nation — in a situation that we’ve never been before. But, individually, as families and yes even our community has faced hardships before. Community newspapers have reported on times of war, great depressions, mass suffering and local tragedies. And, each time we do, we note both the difficulties faced by individuals and the acts of kindness and support our communities provided.
Today is no different.
Monday morning, Michigan Governor Gretchin Whitmer issued an executive order which, broadly understood, remands people to stay home for three weeks. “Broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life,” Executive Order 2020-21 states.
Residents will be able to go to the bank, grocery shop, fill up their vehicles as the gas station and support local drive-up or curbside pick up restaurant businesses still operating.
Today we ask residents to obey the orders as were given, more importantly we urge residents to support their local businesses still in business. Day in and day out these businesses have supported this community, our local school district and our local kids with higher-than-residential property taxes, youth activity sponsorships and charitable donations.
They also have provided employment to locals, many times providing our youth their very first jobs — which helps those youth prepare for their lives as adults. It is now time, we hope, when you do head out to get groceries or fill up your vehicle, think about supporting these local businesses.
Many of our community’s small businesses may not survive, however they have a better shot to do so if local residents do their parts.
Also, this is also a good time to remind folks to not hoard goods. We talked to grocers, we heard the Governor on Monday — there is food. Hoarding only fills up individual shelves, while denying a neighbor of much needed grocery items. Think of your neighbors.
Think of neighbors who may be home-bound, hurting financially or senior citizens who really should not be out in public. If you’re going out to shop, give them a call, see if you can help by picking up groceries, prescriptions or paper products they may need.
Do you have extra bottled water, canned goods or paper products in your pantry? Consider donating to our local food banks. Even in the best of times these organizations have a great need for donations.
Do you have a wood, work or paint shop in your garage? Look around you may have a box or two of face masks that our local safety personal can use. If you do, give the fire department or police department a call — chances are they need them!
As we stated, we have reported difficult times before, and we have reported when those times have turned sunnier. We will get through this as a community, as neighbors helping neighbors. Together we will see the other side. Stay calm. Get outside and breathe some fresh air.
As long as we can continue publishing your community newspaper, providing readers with factual local news, opportunities and local business marketing, we ask for your continued support. Today, tomorrow and in the future. — Don Rush.

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