CORONAVIRUS: UNMASKED

CORONAVIRUS: UNMASKED - Sayville Chamber of Commerce

Sam Desmond
Posted 8/7/20

Q: What was your first reaction to the pandemic?

A: “My first reaction was one of sadness. Sadness because I knew that there would be closures. And I knew they were going to come …

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CORONAVIRUS: UNMASKED

CORONAVIRUS: UNMASKED - Sayville Chamber of Commerce

Posted

Q: What was your first reaction to the pandemic?

A: “My first reaction was one of sadness. Sadness because I knew that there would be closures. And I knew they were going to come quickly. When the word ‘pandemic’ is used, you cannot take that lightly in any way, shape or form... I was sitting in the chamber office when the official word came out and it was an overwhelming feeling of sadness. And then energy kicked in... we have to make a plan.”

Q: What has been the hardest part for the chamber?

A: “Keeping the businesses pres- ent. Keeping them in a state of just being alive... We needed them to put out tweets, social media, emails that we are still here. We will follow guidelines, but we are not going anywhere... The hardest part was letting them [business owners] know we are here, this is temporary, we will help you rebuild.”

Q: What has been empowering during the lockdown?

A: “Realizing that people in your community absolutely love their Main Street... It was empowering to see people immediately—whether it be on social media or on emails— ask, ‘What can we do to help the stores? What can we do to keep them alive? How can we get food from them? Where can we donate food?’ We learned how to appreciate our communities a lot more... We rose above it.”

Q: What are your hopes for the chamber in the future?

A: “My hopes are that one day we go back to 100 percent... Even if we have to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines, we’ll be 100 percent in the restaurants and 100 percent in the stores... [The] chamber took on a new role, we became a lifeline... We work for them... Knowing them in good times and knowing them in times of trouble has really made such a bond with new businesses that have opened, and struggled, and with businesses that are maintaining.”

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