In Easton, businesses successfully doing the pandemic pivot continue to exemplify the savviness and acknowledgement of the community’s needs that make them cornerstones of Easton far beyond the scope of the current pandemic. It is their clever problem solving and comforting stability that fuels the town.
As mentioned in the previous installment to the pandemic pivot series, Easton’s food-affiliated businesses and farms are working tirelessly to maintain food supply chains. At Gilbertie’s, the beloved Easton farm that grows organic herbs, vegetables, and Petite Edibles, safety is a top concern. Gilbertie’s is a Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) regulated business.
“Many of the precaution practices of the coronavirus, [except for the constant face mask], have been in place at our farm for the past five years,” Sal Gilbertie said. Beyond these precaution practices, Gilbertie’s has added two more hand washing sinks and is no longer allowing customers into the greenhouses.
For Bagel King of Fairfield, owned by Easton residents the Viselli family of Easton, maintaining the food supply chain means offering curbside pickup and on weekends, delivery to Fairfield and Easton.
Other Easton businesses are making sure our furry friends are not overlooked in the days of social distancing. These businesses include the Easton Veterinary Clinic.
“As a small, intimate hospital where relationships with both pets and their humans are important to us, the pandemic has definitely upended our usually very social atmosphere, but we’ve found a way to manage and honestly even thrive in these crazy times,” Easton Veterinary hospital manager Annikki Nurmi said.
This means owners can no longer accompany their pets into examinations. Rather they give the office a call when they arrive, and their pets are collected while maintaining social distancing. Conversations between Dr. Dan Whelan and the owners occur over the phone.
“Certainly this process takes a bit longer than our typical routine, but honestly everyone has been so flexible and understanding that it’s been a rather easy transition,” Nurmi said.
Other business owners working to continue to provide services to Easton’s pets are Marni Waiwat and Thomas Hagopian, co-owners of Together by My Side who typically offer dog walking, pet sitting, and training services.
To maintain proper social distancing, the pivot means curbside pick-up for walks & hikes with lots of hand cleaning involved, as well as virtual training sessions via Zoom.
Easton’s community organizations are also continuing to bring the town together, while being apart. At the Easton Community Center, they’re working on delivering some videos to engage, educate and entertain the kids as well as adults while the world is quarantined.
The ECC has also opened registration for summer camps, which will run as planned, pending reassessment at the end of the school year and encourages membership renewal.
At the Easton Park & Recreation Department, office staff is working remotely from home while maintainers continue field work and grounds maintenance every day.
They are also working on Facebook videos, including Friday’s live kids bake clubs. Other virtual services provided by the Easton Park & Recreation Department include online bingo and weekly newsletters with activities families can participate in.
Beyond exemplifying for themselves digital business success, Easton’s businesses also include ones that will help launch your business into online stardom. These businesses include BOOMFLEX, founded by Alice Fritz and already working alongside multiple Easton businesses.
At BOOMFLEX, a company created to bring enterprise class IT, design, and marketing services to small business, technicians are ready to help in transitioning to ecommerce as well as provide IT strategy support. “We know all the platforms and how to combine them to optimize the metrics our customers care about the most,” Fritz said. The goal is “eliminating pain points and creating efficiencies by leveraging technologies such as cloud-based products and serverless microservices.”
Another business ready to support your online business is OutSecure, which specializes in cybersecurity, a growing risk in remote business environments.
In response, OutSecure founder Pam Gupta of Easton is offering web based training alongside online sessions for clients to define the appropriate risk protection programs for their businesses.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Easton community continues to grow stronger, even more so with the help of the residents who continue to turn their energy towards service efforts.
For Laurie and Ted Hollander, co-founders of Help Our Military Heroes, the pandemic has made it difficult for them to continue their fundraising efforts that help them to provide adapted vans for military heroes across the U.S. Yet, they are continuing to take inquiries from potential applicants and work with approved applicants.
“We stay in constant contact with our HOMH van family to let them know we are tracking any and all progress and sometimes just to, hopefully, be an ear to listen or a conversation to break up the isolation that this pandemic has created” Laurie Hollander said. Help our Military Heroes has also been selected as the beneficiary of the Stop and Shop Community Bag Program.
Through the month of May, each time a $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at the Stop & Shop in Fairfield and Bridgeport, Help our Military Heroes will receive a $1 donation.
As for the Easton Chamber of Commerce, they’re proud of the small businesses that are working hard to shift business models during these times of uncertainty and that are pulling together as a community to support one another.
Despite these uncertain times, Easton businesses’ astute adaptability is unwavering. While they will continue to pivot as needed, business owners will also be thrilled when things can reopen further, even if there’s a new normal to adjust to.
This is a sampling, rather than an exhaustive list. Do you have an Easton business? We’d love to hear from you! Submit a photo and article about your business on our site, under About Us, Article Submission. Or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.