“When life gets harder, challenge yourself to be stronger!”

This quote by an unknown author exemplifies where we are today. The majority of us have never lived through anything as challenging as what we are enduring right now. Sheltering in place, quarantine, and social distancing are all terms that were not part of our vernacular just a month ago. But from this point forward, we will all remember how COVID-19 has changed us personally and changed our world.

As I have been stating on the radio recently, now is the time for Yankton to be great, because we are great! We have so many opportunities to come together as a community. We have community members donating fabric and sewing masks for our healthcare community. We are checking on our elderly neighbors to make sure they have what they need. We have people volunteering to watch the kids of first responders and health care workers. We have teachers who are continuing to educate via alternative methods to connect with their students. We have specialized food programs to provide meals to youth and seniors. We have businesses and individuals donating food and supplies to those who are in need. We have entrepreneurs doing business is a different way; everything from selling T-shirts online to modifying business models to continue to engage with customers. Continue to be great!

While you may feel like putting your head under a pillow and hoping to wake up when this is all over; it is truly a time to rely on those around you to support you. You may need to ask for help or need services you haven’t needed in the past. You have employees who need you and you aren’t sure which direction to turn or which resources are best for you. Reach out to others in the business community for support to seek creative solutions. Keep in mind that many manufacturers have had to shift their focus from “how do we make the best product and get it out the door efficiently” to “how do we keep our employees safe.” Safety is a key priority and there are resources available. Continue to be great!

I receive numerous emails every day with details of the recently passed legislation, programs available at the federal and state levels and questions about the programs here locally.

When asked by local businesses “What should I do?” my response to them is to consult with your trusted local lender, accountant, financial advisor or attorney. The programs being offered are not designed to be the right option for every business. There are programs for employees to receive unemployment insurance and programs for employers to keep people employed. Every business has unique circumstances so rolling out a cookie-cutter plan that works for everyone just isn’t possible. Utilize your trusted network of business advisors. Continue to be great!

With that being said, YAPG, Greater Yankton Living, the Chamber and Visit Yankton (Convention & Visitors Bureau) have all been working very closely on joint communications. We want to have consistent and clear communications with the Yankton community. A local unified website of resources is available at www.yanktonsd.com. We are working more efficiently by posting the business resources in one place. Reach out to us via phone or email if you need something not on the website or have ideas we can share with the community. The website shows which businesses are open and which have limited or modified services. Each of our organizations utilizes different social media handles and I encourage you to “like” them all to see the latest updates. The Yankton business community needs you now and in the months to come. Continue to be great!

We all have a role to play in this pandemic. If you can, stay home. I cannot reinforce this enough. If you can, stay home!  If you need to leave your home, follow the six-foot guidelines when around others, sanitize and disinfect areas you come in contact with, and don’t congregate in groups larger than 10 people. Lives are literally on the line. You may not personally feel at risk, but this virus does not discriminate. Protect yourself and protect those you come in contact with. Our current situation was described in a unique way by one of our community leaders, “I just wish all citizens in Yankton… would get on the bus, because it can’t leave until the last selfish person gets on, then we drive for another two months before we see real, positive change and get off the bus. For those of us who’ve been sitting on the bus for weeks, our patience is running thin.” Come on, Yankton, get on the bus now so we can continue to be great!

Thank you for all the gifts you are sharing with the community. Heartfelt thanks to our healthcare workers and first responders who are confronting the virus head-on. Our community spirit and pride will continue to shine as the pall of COVID-19 tries to cover our community.

On the news recently, they said, “If you can’t do what you do, do what you can.” That is so very true. You may not be working at your regular job, but we all can continue to do something to help. Please reach out to me at 660-0438 or nancy@yanktonsd.com if I can connect you with resources or help with your business needs. I encourage you to be stronger, stay home if you can, be diligent, be courageous, be patient, be kind, and continue to be great because Yankton is stronger together!

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