Local Businesses Step Up: Aiding First Responders and Helping Pets

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – How is your company or organization coping with the state’s “stay-at-home” order? How are your friends and family dealing with the quasi-quarantine? 

Monday morning, The Business Journal sent a letter to the business community, asking readers to share how they’re adjusting and what they’re doing to help others through this crisis.

What we’ve received are business notices as well as stories of inspiration, neighbors helping neighbors and perseverance. 

In the days ahead, we’ll share more from our readers on how they’re getting through an unprecedented time that has affected all businesses and all walks of life. You can submit your own story at BusinessJournalDaily.com/submit-your-story

Nemenz IGA

STRUTHERS, Ohio – “At Nemenz IGA we are making every possible effort to make shopping and working as safe as possible for the community and our employees. Our staff is doing an excellent job!” says President Judy Gabriele. “Many are working long hours at a very fast pace due to the recent increase in volume.”

To accommodate seniors, those with comprised immune systems and expectant mothers, the store is offering an hour of exclusive access to those groups daily beginning at 8 a.m. The store is open until 8 p.m.

“We have some of our people who are electing to stay home during this time. We are happy to accommodate them for safety’s sake,” Gabriele says. “We have been fortunate to have been able to add a few friends who have worked with us before who have come back to work with us temporarily. There are other spots that may need filled.”

Penn Care

NILES, Ohio – Since January, EMS supply company Penn Care has received requests from around the globe as the coronavirus pandemic has spread.

“Early on, we shipped thousands of goggles and [personal protective equipment] to a company in China. As the situation grew worse, we stopped selling to anyone but the emergency services,” says President Don Bloom. “We have been put on allotment for critical items and have been out of N95, PPE and now thermometers. Most of the products that we sell are either manufactured in China or the components to make critical products come from there. We are being told that China is only at 30% capacity, so we anticipate further shortages.”

Nonetheless, the company will remain in operation “until our warehouse is depleted,” he says, noting that Penn Care is only selling products to police, fire and EMS services at this time.

“Our employees who can work from home are doing so to help prevent this spread,” he says. “The public must do their part to help curb this pandemic.”

Keller Williams Chervenic Realty

CANFIELD, Ohio – As more and more people have practiced social distancing – whether early on in the COVID-19 outbreak or after orders from the state government – Keller Williams Chervenic agent Holly Ritchie had to get creative to show off houses.

“Open houses are everything,” she says. “Open houses help us get people in, help us give opportunities to buyers to view who might have hard work schedules, kids, sports, theater practice, etc. When the coronavirus happened, open houses ceased to exist.”

So Ritchie and her team took to social media, using their smartphones to host walkthroughs of listed houses on Facebook Live. So far, three listings that the team has shown off with live videos have crested 200 views, including a home in Poland with 472 views.

“Technology has been a wonderful thing,” she says. “The [multiple listing service] only gives us 2000 characters to describe a home. … We had to think outside the box.”

Every Dog Matters

BOARDMAN, Ohio – As stores run low supplies, some may be finding it difficult to find what they need for their furry friends.

For those who need dog food, rescue group Every Dog Matters is allowing owners to pick it up from the organization’s supply, says event coordinator Amanda Hamilton. 

“The rescue has a large amount of food and we want to host a free pick-up day,” she says. “We are here to help.”

 Buckeye Tent

NORTH LIMA, Ohio – “Our company is working to identify businesses who will need tents for shelters in their operations. We are prepared to answers calls around the clock if there is a need for our services,” says Buckeye Tent owner Timothy Patrick. 

“While we have had a 90% decrease in our revenue, we have taken steps to adapt in this uncharted territory for our business and are prepared to endure and will always be a reliable source of tent and party rentals for the Youngstown area.”

Bogey’s Bar and Grill

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio – Though Bogey’s Bar and Grill has quickly had much of its staff and transform into a quick-service carryout restaurant, owner and chef Melvin McKee is still doing what he can to promote other local restaurants.

“I’ve made it a point to try and order food from at least two local independent restaurants a day and promote them on my own personal Facebook page,” he says.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.