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Supporting our community in 2022

Happy New Year everyone! This is the time of year when many of us look at coming up with a New Year’s resolution. Examples might include more emphasis on prayer, losing weight, or giving back to others in some fashion. That third example had me thinking of my neighbors, my friends, those in my community.

In looking back at the last two years, so many in our Pottawatomie County community have been impacted by the hideous Covid virus. Some by the direct effect of this virus on either themselves or a loved one getting the disease. Many others have also been impacted in other substantial ways.

There are many well-established traditional ways (church or secular agency related) to donate our talent, time, or treasure for some causes including Covid relief. I would encourage any participation in these worthwhile entities. My wife and I have decided to look at how we could help out our community in a different way this year.

What makes our Pottawatomie County community great is our vibrant working class. They have sustained our community through so many adversities. What was different this time is how our federal government would determine who would be considered an ‘essential’ worker in our community. Only certain big box stores in our community were deemed essential giving their employees the ‘essential’ label. But what about everyone else?

Why the federal government would pick the winners and losers in this pandemic could be a topic for a different time. Suffice it to say they did and the impact on our community has been destructive and far-reaching. The small businesses in Pottawatomie County and their employees who make up the majority of the working class in our community were by default deemed ‘non-essential’. These small businesses didn’t matter. The people they employed didn’t matter. Their families didn’t matter. Overnight these businesses and their employees became second-class citizens.

We decided to make them first-class citizens again with our 2022 New Year’s resolution.

Our resolution will be to frequent at least two small (preferably non-chain) Pottawatomie County businesses each month in 2022. These businesses have suffered the most during the pandemic. Some have closed their doors completely and many others are holding on. They matter. Their employees matter. Our community matters.

As part of our resolution, we will mark our 2022 calendar each time we frequent a small business in Pottawatomie County. We ask that you join us in keeping Pottawatomie County small businesses and their employees, the backbone of our community vibrant and successful in 2022.

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