Antidote to cabin fever: spring cleaning outdoors
Are you struggling with cabin fever? I know how much I enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine under our beautiful blue New Mexico sky! I’ve been doing more walking since we’ve been ordered to ‘stay at home.’ During my walks, I’ve noticed a lot of litter has collected along some of our roads. So, my antidote to cabin fever is to pull on some disposable gloves, grab a trash bag and pick up litter as I walk. As I enjoy the scenery—snowcapped mountains, flowering trees, warbling birds—I’m getting exercise, breathing fresh air and sprucing up the neighborhood. Spring cleaning— outdoors!
Linda Holle, Edgewood Town Councilor
The economics of shutdown
The economy is complex. At crisis times we see and hope to address the immediate needs. But, we cannot be short-sighted or myopic in our view either. Commerce is the driving force behind the economy of this country and around the world; and it is what funds everything from government to families.
The government’s financial ability to act is dependent on tax revenues from businesses and individuals who are employed. The economy relies on businesses operating—selling goods and services, employing people—not sitting idle. Right now, the balancing act between public health needs and economic needs is extremely challenging. Americans are not accustomed to being idle, but in order to flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19, self-isolation appears to be the fastest way of ultimately getting back to commerce and jobs. That’s a tough storm to weather, especially for small businesses and their employees.
In the United States, 99% of all businesses are small businesses (defined as fewer than 500 employees; and 95% have fewer than 10 employees). Small businesses employ 53% of American workers, and locally probably more. Most small businesses are family-owned and operated, where the average owner income is $42,000/year. Additionally, small businesses are often multi-generational with several households relying on that business. Right now, those are the frontline businesses already suffering from the recent and dramatic loss of sales, and now being shut down as non-essential. This kind of economic disruption is devastating for small businesses, and if protracted, some will never reopen despite their best efforts.
What about big business? Large corporations employ the other 47% of America, and they typically handle the vital elements of our society and will need support too. Consider that many Americans are financially invested in those large corporations through mutual funds, retirement accounts, or pension funds. If large corporations don’t get relief, they too will struggle to survive and the blue-chip stocks they represent will drop, impacting average Americans’ savings and investments.
It’s complicated and the government has a multitude of complex factors to evaluate, from business supports to unemployment benefits to stimulus plans. Our economy may look different for a while once we come out of this thing. In the meantime, it’s important to support your local economy by making your purchases at local businesses and to self-isolate to keep the virus from spreading and prolonging this economic disruption. The sooner the virus is contained, the sooner Americans can get back to work and restart this economy.
Linda Burke, Executive Director
Greater Edgewood Area Chamber of Commerce
When the helpers need your help
For 33 years, Bethel Community Storehouse has been helping our neighbors in need through their rough patches with a variety of services including groceries. During this COVID-19 emergency, Bethel continues to keep its food pantry open to help those in need, Tuesday through Friday from noon to 3:45 p.m.
People can call 832-6642 to check in. We are doing a drive-through pantry for the safety of everyone. Unfortunately, our thrift store is temporarily closed. The thrift store is our fundraiser for our food pantry.
We are now asking for the communities help. Please consider donating to this worthy cause to keep Bethel’s food pantry up and running. Donations of food and financial contributions are greatly appreciated. We accept cash, checks, credit cards and PayPal can be accessed thru our website, bethelstorehouse.org. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 968, Moriarty, NM 87035. Thank you for your consideration. We’re all in this together—wash your hands!
Linda Smith, Executive Director
Bethel Community Storehouse
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.