Sharon Stone mug

I’ve got to really hand it to our local entrepreneurs/small business owners who have come up with creative ways to keep their shops somewhat open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their determination to stay safe and provide products and services to our community led to a successful birthday celebration for my husband over the weekend.

 I shopped local and it felt so good.

 With so many small shops being forced to close their doors, many people turned to Amazon and other online retailers. I’m not a big fan of that and only shop that way when products aren’t available locally.

 I did shop online, but at websites of our local stores. It was great and it was personal. Needing gifts appropriate for a man, I turned to Nick & Crew by Eclections. I found exactly what I wanted, paid online and heard directly from the owner, Nicole Medich, thanking me for my purchase. Her shop’s doors were closed, but when I was ready to pick up my purchase, I sent her a text and she hung my gift-wrapped birthday present on a board outside her front door. I drove up, grabbed my bag and I was on my way. Wanting to spread my dollars around, I also ordered a gift from Bridge Street Exchange. Kevin Begola devised a safe system similar to Medich. After I paid online, my purchase was packaged and ready for pickup. I drove over, walked in the back door where a table was set up to hold online purchases. Begola found my gift bag and sent me on my way. It was great and fast.

 I can’t forget to give a shout out to my husband, Jeff, who owns the Sears Hometown Store here in Fenton. Because hardware and appliances were deemed essential, his store has been open during this entire stay-at-home order. Most of the time he would work alone with the doors locked. Some days he would have one other employee with him to help serve our valued customers. He has worked so hard to stay safe, keep his employees safe and keep his customers safe. His system has worked and people have been driving across the state just to shop or to pick up merchandise they bought online at the locally owned store. Business for him has stayed close to steady and he has sold more freezers, ping pong tables and pool tables online than he  ever imagined.

 Turning to a sad subject, I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to the family of 17-year-old Lexi Simon who was killed in a tragic Waverunner accident on Lake Fenton on Sunday. My heart goes out to them as well as the family of Lexi’s boyfriend. May they cherish all of their memories.

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