By Paul Little, Special to The Outlook
We are in an unprecedented health crisis here in the United States and in the Pasadena area. Everyone — individuals, businesses, nonprofits and health-care providers — is being strained by the epidemic. While absolutely necessary to ensure the health of our residents, closure orders for restaurants, entertainment venues, meeting spaces, fitness studios and more are having a drastic and negative impact on our business community and its employees.
This is an especially difficult time for our retail, restaurant and service businesses. Most remain open and providing service, though in dramatically altered ways. Restaurants are offering takeout service, delivery and curb-side/valet pickup.
Many retailers are taking similar steps. Yoga and fitness studios are maintaining a virtual presence by offering online classes and providing support for their customers and members via email, streaming and other virtual means. Others, such as hair salons, remain open, safe, clean and available for customers, though most are spacing appointments in ways that maintain social distancing. Grocery stores remain open and are taking steps to try to maintain social distancing by limiting the number of customers in the store at any given time. Some, such as Grocery Outlet in Altadena, are offering senior citizens a special time to shop.
For any and all of your needs, we encourage everyone to continue to patronize Pasadena’s local businesses. While it may seem safe and convenient to order your local retailer, restaurant or service provider from Amazon or DoorDash, buying gift cards, visiting local stores online and ordering there or picking up takeout from local restaurants may mean the difference between their being able to remain open after this contagion has abated.
Fitness and yoga studios have been ordered closed as part of the emergency orders to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Many are offering online or video classes or special in-home kits so customers can maintain their health and well-being.
I would encourage everyone to continue to support our nonprofit community. They will see significant financial impacts as the emergency continues while the demand for services, support and assistance from within our community grows.
If we want the Greater Pasadena area to remain a vital, fun and interesting place to live, work and visit, we need to support those businesses that are suffering and we need to do it today. The restaurants and retailers are the canary in the coal mine for all of us. If they fail because of the coronavirus outbreak, it will only be the beginning of a significant downturn in our economy and quality of life here in Pasadena.
Keeping businesses operating, even on a minimal level, through this crisis means they will be able to reopen and their employees will have jobs to return to.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association is a business service member organization that works to ensure the prosperity of its members through a variety of offerings including referrals, networking, workshops and seminars, events and much more. The Chamber serves 1,450 member companies.
Anyone can find open stores, service providers and restaurants by visiting the Pasadena Chamber’s online directory or members. For restaurant listings visit pasadena-chamber.org/directory/restaurants-catering. For retailers, visit pasadena-chamber.org/directory/shopping-retail. For any other service or product, please visit pasadena-chamber.org/directory. pasachamber.org/directory.
Paul Little is president and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.