It’s easy to get lost in the sea of bad news during a time like this. But there are plenty of inspiring stories to be had through the actions of our local businesses and community members. Here are just a few.
Local businesses supporting each other
With Gov. Ron DeSantis ordering all restaurants to move to take-out or delivery service on Friday, small businesses that serve food or sell items have been struggling to find a way to profit in this time of coronavirus. In an inspiring twist, Tampa Bay local makers banded together to create care packages that can be purchased as bundles. The initiative, jumpstarted by local business Katie’s Fine Cookies, allows buyers to purchase packages of eggs, vegetables, bread and bagel buns, as well as fun items like candles and soap. The pantry boxes are already so popular that they’ve largely sold out on her website, so get them while they’re still here.
There is real demand for community members to start sewing their own masks. Perhaps nothing is evidence of that more than a page on JoAnn’s Fabrics and Craft Stores that shows “how to make a face mask” and asks people to help support the country’s medical personnel. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced the company is donating an emergency reserve of 720,000 face masks that it had compiled in case of wildfires in California.
Breweries turn into hand sanitizer stations
Last week, St. Petersburg brewery 3 Daughters Brewing announced that they would be creating and bottling their own hand sanitizer. While the demand was so high that they changed their initial decision to hand out the sanitizer, instead donating it to community nonprofits, the gesture still remains. And they are not alone in doing so. St. Petersburg distillery Kozuba & Sons said that they would be shifting to focus on creating hand sanitizer and “using the highest grade spirit that otherwise would have been used to make vodka.” Bradenton’s Motorworks Brewing also partnered with Tampa distillery Dark Door Spirits to create hand sanitizer, which they will donate to first responders and nursing homes, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
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