WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – When the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce launched its FLX To Go program and Facebook page, local businesses restricted due to COVID-19 took the opportunity to create new ways of reaching their customers.
“People are really using the page in ways that we weren’t anticipating,” said Rebekah Carroll, Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. “They’re being very creative, very crafty, but more importantly, businesses are finding ways to make their businesses work in this very difficult time. We’re happy just to have an avenue just to get the word out there to the public.”
Local restaurants are able to offer new specials and menus for delivery or pickup, and some are offering some of their customers’ favorite cocktails to-go.
The Chamber also announced that they are holding off membership fees for their existing members until July.
“That’s something we hope will be helpful for us to be able to say to our business community ‘we’re gonna take care of you and we’re gonna worry about the money later.'”
While some businesses have been able to serve in unique ways, some haven’t been able to retain the same amount of staff. Carroll says “there are some businesses who applied for the paycheck protection program and it went right through and there are some businesses still waiting to hear if their applications were approved.”
A new round of funding for the program is expected to pass in Congress this week.
When businesses are ready to reopen, Carroll says the region will thrive.
“We’re going to reopen stronger than some of the other regions just within, talk about new york state because we are that region that has lots of sprawling space and outdoor attractions and things that will feel safe for the consumer to come back to, so you can be sure that when we’re ready to go live we’re going to be going live with that message that we’re open we’re a safe place for you to come bring your family and to get away from other places that may not be as safe.”