Fighting the Virus

During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone struggled in some form or fashion. Chamber member businesses stepped up to the challenge and adapted to meet the needs of our community. We are proud of all of our members and wanted to showcase some of their stories.

Brady’s Jefferson City’s Glass Company installed Lexan shields at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.

Brady’s Jefferson City’s Glass Company installed Lexan shields at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.

With the demand growing for protective glass to keep essential employees safe during the pandemic, Brady’s Jefferson City’s Glass Company made this product their number one priority. They installed Lexan shields in countless Jefferson City (and surrounding) businesses such as SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, Cole County offices and the Missouri State National Guard to name a few. These shields provide a clear view of clients and customers without direct contact. They also allow for pass-through openings to enable business transactions as usual. The Lexan shields offer the safety and security required, with minimal disruption to daily business activities. Thank you to Brady’s for helping so many businesses remain operational during the pandemic!

Love2Nourish is no stranger to helping in times of need. During the aftermath of the 2019 tornado, they wasted no time in serving the families and workers in the area. The COVID-19 pandemic was no different. They quickly began offering curbside and free delivery in Jefferson City, Columbia, Holts Summit and other surrounding areas. They also began offering basic necessity items for sale such as bleach, toilet paper, milk, eggs, bacon, and more in addition to their normal menu items. They even delivered some of their famous “amazeballs” to physicians at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital to show their appreciation.

Barvino has really shown their strength throughout this crisis. As the pandemic unfolded, they began selling discounted bottled wine, growlers of beer, and food for pickup only. Shortly after, in an effort to cater to those who were uncomfortable leaving their homes, they expanded their services to include delivery. They utilized social media to its fullest potential throughout the pandemic and at one time garnered interest in their wines with a virtual wine-tasting event. As a small business themselves, Barvino understood how much they had to do to keep their employees paid and maintain some sense of normalcy. They partnered with O’Donoghue’s Steaks and Seafood and for every Barvino receipt presented, customers received a 10% discount off of their order at O’Donoghue’s Steaks and Seafood.

As a large company, Walmart understood that their policy changes would impact a large number of people and took that responsibility to heart. They knew the most “at risk” in the population would need essential groceries and prescriptions from their stores. They dedicated shopping hours from 6-7 a.m. exclusively to seniors, just after the store had been sterilized, to ease their worries. Alternatively, they offered curbside pickup for prescriptions, a service they had not offered before. A home delivery service was launched at the beginning of the pandemic as well to keep customers from having to come into the store. If customers did venture into the store, they were greeted with sterilized carts, masked and gloved employees and signs reminding them to practice social distancing. Walmart also streamlined the hiring process so that applicants could apply and begin work on the same day.

At the Chamber, we pivoted our support of membership by using Zoom meetings to continue to provide useful and timely information, to continue promoting a hopeful and positive business climate during this difficult time. We promoted our “Let’s stick together” sticky note campaign in the newspaper, on social media and even mailed sticky notes with this positive message to our members. We disseminated information as it came in regarding grant programs, new legislation, and local and federal directives. In addition, surveys were conducted to track local employment, we promoted a “shop local” message to consumers and created the JCMO Chamber Marketplace where members could advertise promotions and changes to operations and hours. The Marketplace is still providing benefits to our members today.

We are so very proud of how the community has supported one another and taken precautions to operate safely. Unfortunately, we can’t mention every business’s efforts and good deeds. It is no surprise that our community businesses stepped up and stayed strong as they weathered the unknown. There was great cooperation with the local, state and national stay-at-home orders. Many people supported small and large businesses by continuing to shop local and prop up businesses with donations and gift card purchases. We are thankful to support such a wonderful community that truly cares about each other.