Local businesses and organizations have struggled mightily since the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March. These challenges are highly visible through “closed” signs, quiet streets and many unemployed friends, family and neighbors. The uncertainty and disruption to Jackson Hole’s economy and way of life has been unprecedented.
After this necessary pause, we must move forward with our community’s reopening. Locals should begin a safe and modified return to their places of worship, favorite retailers, restaurants and watering holes.
The reopening process will be bumpy. While local business leaders and public officials have worked hard to create a stepped reopening plan, it’s hard to say how every person will act and react and how coronavirus case numbers will rise.
Although many businesses are allowed to reopen this week, not everyone will feel comfortable going back to work. And until school and child care resume, many of our working class won’t be able to return. Families depend on them to return to professional life.
Those who are immunocompromised, elderly or living with or caring for them are right to be especially cautious. It’s important for employers to empathize with staff, recognizing that individual employees have unique realities. Above all, our health is the only thing we truly have.
Businesses should take all precautions to focus on protecting employees and customers from coronavirus transmission. The last thing any employer wants is to have a cluster of infected employees transmitting to customers. Soon our visitors will return. Our world is learning a painful lesson through the pandemic, and must move forward in a new era of heightened health-safety awareness.
We’re venturing into uncharted waters, where economic and tourism indicators don’t give the same types of predictability as previous times. Together as locals we can continue to do our best to help one another, including through commerce.
Each dollar spent locally helps preserve the valley’s economy.
We all vote with our dollars.
We will grant $300,000 to local businesses
To do our part in stoking the economic engine, Teton Media Works Inc. joins many others in lending a helping hand during these bleak days. Our independently operated, family-owned media company has established a $300,000 fund to provide matching advertising grants to locally owned and operated businesses beginning May 15. These matching grants are for local advertising and promotion through the Jackson Hole News&Guide and the other print and digital publications of Teton Media Works.
Matching grants are designed to enable businesses with depleted operating budgets and cash reserves to bridge the gap and get the word out about their operations.
Local mom-and-pop-owned businesses are the heart of our valley. Consumers are the lifeblood feeding these vital organs. We can rehabilitate the valley’s economy by prioritizing spending here.
Economic recovery will be sustained as you buy locally. Period.
Every local business that closes on our collective watch erodes the soul of the Hole. We live here and are stewards of our community’s character and natural resources. We generate the revenue, distribute payroll and collect the sales taxes that make local government possible. Business sustains and unites community.
Teton Media Works is prepared to do its part, and together we will rise to recovery. Grant applications are open today at TetonMediaWorks.com/grants.
Kevin Olson, publisher
Adam Meyer, associate publisher