The full impact of the essential shutdown of our community and our state became apparent the past couple of weeks, with businesses deemed “non-essential” forced to close and even “essential” businesses operating with skeleton staffs.

Southern Saratoga County has adapted to a new, but hopefully temporary, normal, of social distancing, online business meetings, curbside pickup and food delivery and often empty store shelves.

Local grocers, big and small, have been very busy as consumers flocked to stores to load up on various items deemed vital to a potential long-term supply disruption. Price Chopper and Hannaford supermarkets in our communities have done an excellent job keeping up and also reconfiguring their stores to facilitate social distancing, and so have small grocers such as Guru’s Supermarket at Exit 8 or Byron’s Village Market in Schuylerville. Restaurants have adapted to safe options such as takeout-only, curbside pickup or delivery. There are way too many choices to list in this article, so please visit your favorite restaurant’s website to see what they are offering at the present time. Some restaurants can even sell your favorite drinks in a takeout or delivery form, and liquor stores such as Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse, Galway Rock Vineyard & Winery, Halfmoon Wine & Liquor and Olde Saratoga Wine & Spirits have adapted to continue serving their customers.

Some local businesses, such as Extendher.com and TNT Boat Tops are sewing masks for personal protection. Manufacturers such as Creatacor are making products to protect employees at checkout counters from interactions with customers, plus beds and partitions for busy hospitals. While many car manufacturers retool to make ventilators for the nationwide fight, local car dealers have developed virtual ways to sell and even deliver automobiles without customer contact. So have real estate agents, brokers, and home inspectors. Banking is being done online and at the drive through window, and an online conferencing software few of us had heard of – Zoom – is now a household term as countless businesses (and sadly a few hackers) have learned to master its uses.

With this being a very important week in the Judeo-Christian religious calendar, churches such as Faith Baptist Church and Fruitful Vine Christian Church, and Jewish centers such as the Clifton Park Chabad have moved their services and events online as well. Our community is meeting the current challenge physically, financially and spiritually!

If you are a small business owner and need guidance on state and federal regulations regarding the COVID-19 crisis, assistance with SBA financing, or help understanding the available support resources of recent Federal legislation including the CARES act, please visit www.capitalregionchamber.com.

— Pete Bardunias, Senior Vice President, Community Advancement, Capital Region Chamber

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