LETTER: Local businesses need your support as they reopen

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Editor:

As a local optometrist, I take pride in the community I serve and the dozens of jobs my business provides for the surrounding area. But when the coronavirus hit, I was forced to shut down my business for six weeks. We took a tremendous hit to our bottom line, and I was forced to furlough more than 40 of my staff members.

Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program loan we received, I was able to keep my practice afloat, but I know many businesses weren’t as fortunate. Even as we start to reopen, it’s been a challenge to navigate the “new normal” post-coronavirus.

But I’ve been able to implement precautionary measures that have welcomed my patients back safely, and most of my staff has returned. Countless businesses like mine are eager to reopen, as well, but that doesn’t mean they don’t prioritize safety.

I’m in the business of helping others see clearly. My prescription for our current situation is to trust that your local business owners are putting your safety first. In return, please remember to visit them; they could use the support now more than ever.

Chris Stansbury

Charleston

Funerals for Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hinzman, Mary - 3 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.

Payne, Gregory - Noon, Brookside Ministries, Mt. Carbon.

Spaur, Annette - 1 p.m., John H. Taylor Funeral Home, Spencer.