New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan and the Floyd County Democratic Party show support for small independent businesses, and this is to be commended.

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You probably don’t need reminding, but I’ve been harshly critical of the Floyd County Democratic Party … for a very long time.

My criticisms remain intact. It would be nice if we could all sit down and talk through them; however, it’s no time to be a Disney-fantasy fetishist.

That’s because we have work to do. Disclaimers aside, allow me to commend the Democrats for this post.

Coronavirus begins taking toll on small business

Democrats urge individuals to support local businesses

With Coronavirus now in Floyd County, it is clear the response won’t allow us to do business as usual. From the cancellation of recreational events to the closure of dine-in facilities at restaurants, we are all adjusting to a new reality as we work to control the spread of this infection. You can check here for the latest information on the spread of the virus and resulting measures taken by the federal, state and local government.

While health and safety regulation may not allow us to dine-in or utilize services in the traditional ways, we can still work to support our local businesses and their workers. Here are a few quick tips to practice during this period of social distancing:

Carry Out: Dine-in options may be out, but several local restaurants are serving customers through carry-out options. Your purchase of lunch using a carry out option can help these restaurants weather the COVID-19 storm.

Tip: Just because it is carry out, don’t forget to tip. Tips go directly to workers and help support those individuals financially.

Gift Cards: Purchase a gift card now to use at a later date. Any dollar amount will help the local business and you can benefit by using the card for future purchases or as a gift.
Check for Social Distancing Accommodations: Some small businesses may be making accommodations for social distancing. These accommodations may enable you to receive a service that otherwise would be unavailable.

Purchase Local Produce: Local farmers will also inevitably feel the impact of COVID-19. Stock-up on local vegetable and other goods produce grown by these vendors. Organizers of local farmers markets can assist – check in with Develop New Albany by clicking here.

Shop online or Over the Phone: Many local businesses have developed online stores or take phone orders. While the physical storefront maybe closed, these businesses will continue to operate and mail out orders.

Check in: Touch base on your favorite boutique owners and ask how you can help. Your interest will let them know you’re thinking of them and provide encouragement.

Use Social Media: Use social media to help promote local businesses, share their services, and gather public support. Banding together will help get the word out.

Supporting our local economy has never been more important and we can each make a difference. Let our local business community know we’re here for them, even if caution requires us to practice social distancing.

Sincerely,

Adam Dickey
Chair, Floyd County Democratic Party

Solid advice.

And also this, from Monday evening.

This afternoon, Indiana Governor Holcomb ordered restaurants and bars to close dine-in services through the end of March. New Albany has a high number of successful local restaurants and bars, and city government is focused on assisting them through this difficult time.

Earlier today, Mayor Gahan met with owners of some restaurants, bars, and shops to offer city support and to keep lines of communication open. He also addressed concerns of the financial strain that this can put on business owners, their employees, and families of those affected.

Mayor Gahan has, and will continue, to urge state and federal leaders to provide assistance to those most impacted by this pandemic.

Mayor Gahan said, “We are going to get through this. It’s going to take some time – but we will get through this.”

Yes, it’s true that Gahan provides little of substance apart from (yet again) urging Republican-controlled government units higher-up to intervene with aid. Yes, it’s true that the city was deserted yesterday when he chose to have a walk. But for the consistently agoraphobic mayor to so much as leave his office is a sign of progress, and as such, must be recognized.

I’m told that some local Republicans view the preceding posts from Democrats as political in nature. Under normal circumstances, I might be inclined to agree, but when one takes into consideration our new societal abnormality, it’s plain good thinking, and the “right” sort of politics, for them to say these things aloud.

The food and drink segment in the state of Kentucky is reckoned to employ 10% of the state’s work force, and the figures probably are similar in Indiana. We’re willing (well, in most cases) to take an extreme body blow to do our part, and some businesses won’t survive it. Our workers are going to be experiencing disarray and dislocation.

It is fitting and proper for New Albany municipal government and its dominant urban political party to express solidarity.

Obviously plenty of local Republicans also have been highly supportive, whether publicly or privately. Unfortunately, others on the right side of the aisle are on social media displaying what can only be viewed as potentially self-destructive denial.

In political terms, I dislike Jeff Gahan and Adam Dickey. But what they’re doing here is a far more useful optic than what I’ve seen coming from some prominent GOP members.

Speaking for myself, I’m setting aside as many of the usual disagreements as possible, for as long as possible, for the duration of the coronavirus crisis if possible. I needn’t love you, vote for you or even tolerate your congenital malfeasance to understand this is a special time, requiring special measures. I don’t have the time now to nitpick.

Whenever we come out the other side, all bets are off. At this precise moment, all of us — you, me, everyone — need to be thinking about specific ways to be (a) productive, and (b) supportive to members of the community more vulnerable than we are.

Got it?

Good. Let me know if I can help.

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