COVID-19…Voices from the Community

We are in uncharted waters, folks. Between cable news and social media, there is an avalanche of information, innuendo, and speculation coming in. It’s exhausting and scary. So John and Tim decided to practice some social distancing and call a bunch of people to talk about what’s going on over Facebook Live. It was a busy one. Go to All Annapolis on Facebook to watch Saturday’s broadcast.

We started with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot to see what the state has been doing up to this point and what is planned next. Steuart Pittman, Anne Arundel County Executive, was up next to talk about business assistance as well as public safety, followed by Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley who let us know what this this means to our tourism-based business community.

Katie Redmiles of Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts introduced “Pay It Forward to the Arts” to help both businesses affected, as well as our arts community. Monica Alvarado, owner of Bread and Butter Kitchen in Eastport, talked about what they are doing to help the community and their employees during this business shutdown. Heritage Baptist Church, on Forest Drive, has always been front and center when it comes to meeting the needs of the community, and this time is no exception. Pastor Scott Shelton talks about their food pantry and the best way people can contribute.

What does this mean for businesses? Jared Littman, owner of K&B True Value and former Ward 5 Alderman, talks about what they are doing to serve the community as an essential business and what he is doing to protect employees. Small business owners are being hit particularly hard. Denise Pearson, owner and proprietor of Paradise Float Spa in Eastport, has shut down completely until this crisis ends. What does this mean to people in her shoes? Jeff Jacobs, owner of the iconic family business, Carrol’s Creek, has also shut down restaurant for the duration. Some of his employees have been with him for decades, and wait until what you hear what is doing for them! And finally, we end on a positive note when we chat with Kimario Ballyntine, a server at 49 West, located in Inner West Street. Yes, he’s out of work amidst a global pandemic, but he is incredibly upbeat and positive, and his attitude is infectious! In a good way.

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