The spread of coronavirus continues to take a toll on local businesses, both big and small.
In particular, bars and restaurants have felt the effects of statewide orders intended to limit the spread of the virus. First, all bars were ordered close and, more recently, restaurants were ordered to do take-out and delivery services only. Many of these businesses have adapted, with restaurants offering increased delivery and curbside pickup options, for example.
In light of this, a handful of initiatives have popped up aimed at helping these businesses weather the storm — including a number of Facebook pages created so that business owners and residents might share information on which establishments are still open and how they can be supported.
A Facebook group called “Rally Around Our Restaurants” is Polk County-centric and includes information about what’s open as well as anecdotes from business owners and residents.
Another group titled “Supporting Small Business in Winter Haven” has a similar function, with a focus on Winter Haven.
Another group, titled “Polk County - We’re All in This Together” has similar posts, as well as posts seeking and giving recommendations on which stores have scarce items, such as paper goods.
In addition, staff for local chambers of commerce are busy using their respective websites and social media platforms to promote which businesses are still open and how they can be supported.
The Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, for example, has created operational lists of restaurants and other small businesses. These can be found at winterhavenchamber.com.