Local Businesses Step Up: First in an Ongoing Series

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? 

This 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

898 Marketing

CANFIELD, Ohio — Over the weekend, 898 Marketing partnered with WFMJ and Canfield-based tech company Drund to provide religious groups with live streams of their Sunday services, says founder Jeff Ryznar. This week, three churches provided their parishioners with service and 20 have requested the streaming service since it was launched.

For all clients, 898 has developed a “content toolbox” to maintain engagement and is emailing them twice a week with helpful information. And, Ryznar adds, he and his employees are seeking out partnerships with other local marketing companies to develop content aimed at providing financial and emotional support to the region through the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I challenged all my team members to take their ‘One a Day’ vitamin,” Ryznar says.

“That vitamin is making one phone call every morning at 8:15 to someone on their contact list, starting at the top and working their way down. Just one phone call a day. The purpose is to let the person know they are thinking about them and ask how they are doing.  No ulterior motive.  No business initiative. Just compassion. This is a way to not only brighten someone’s day but also to have that connection.”

Care Excellence Primary Care

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — As the coronavirus crisis takes a toll on health-care institutions, Care Excellence Primary Care, 3622 Belmont Ave, is relying on telemedicine to triage patients, says owner Carletta Williams.

For patients who have a fever, cough or shortness of breath – the most common symptoms of COVID-19, the disease spread by the coronavirus – signs throughout the office, including the front door, ask them to call in advance.

Appointments have been staggered to minimize the number of patients in the office at any given time. 

And, Williams adds, practices around sanitization, such as hand washing and disinfecting surfaces, have long been standards at Care Excellence. In the case of exposure to the coronavirus, personal protective equipment is available.

Wedgewood Pizza-Boardman

BOARDMAN, Ohio — “Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees,” says Anthony Pellegrini, owner. “I’m following recommended protocol with our employees constantly monitoring their health.”

Staff is cleaning and sanitizing the pizza shop on “a very regular basis,” he continues. “Hand sanitizers are available for our customers and employees.”

Pellegrini says the staff is in keeping in contact with customers through social media and recommends they order online or  use the third-party delivery service Doordash to minimize personal contact.

“We are proud in this time of crisis to contribute to the food chain and serve the community in a safe and healthy fashion,” he says.

Maison de Savon

HERMITAGE, Pa. — While the soap and beauty products maker falls into a category deemed essential by Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, Maison de Savon decided to close its doors for the foreseeable future.

“We felt it necessary … to help with slowing this virus down,” says CEO Gia Hart-Kokor. “It just makes sense.”

The company, which Hart-Kokor runs with her daughter Gillian Hart O’Brien, is now offering curbside pickup and delivery. Orders are available through email, text, its website and phone. 

And to keep customers engaged, Maison de Savon is doing daily videos on Facebook Live and offering recipes that parents can try at home with their kids. 

“Being flexible and just using common sense goes a long way in situations like this,” Hart-Kokor says. “Remain positive, because we are all in this together.” 

Reyers Shoe Store

SHARON, Pa. — “I have been self-quarantined for three days already. My business is closed. My refrigerator is full,” says co-owner Mark Jubelirer. “I have plenty of toilet paper and kitty litter to keep my household happy. I have no internet connection at home, nor do I have a cell phone.  I am likely signing off now, as I leave my office and don’t expect to come back very soon.  Wishing you all well.”

ServiceMaster by Lewis Construction

HOWLAND, Ohio – ServiceMaster by Lewis Construction is actively doing its part during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Rebecca McCleery, director of marketing and sales.

“We have many years of experience cleaning and disinfecting hospitals and other facilities that have been at risk for exposure to various infectious diseases. We follow protocol prescribed by the CDC to do either preventive cleaning, which includes disinfecting all high-touch human contact points or post-exposure where suspected or a confirmed case was present.”

McCleery says the company is taking extra precautions to protect its employees and customers. These include:
• Screening employees as they enter work, taking temperature, asking vital questions. 
• Prescreening before we enter the job so the customer and our employees both feel safe, if either isn’t comfortable then we don’t continue the job. 
• Our employees are provided additional personal protective equipment. 
• Practice social distancing, minimize carpooling. 
• Working in unoccupied spaces as much as possible. 

“Our employees have really stepped up to help by working nights and weekends to clean buildings not able to have the disruption during normal business hours,” McCleery says. “Just this past weekend, we did the Mahoning County Courthouse and administration building. Another way we are helping is by donating cleaning disinfectant to our local fire department in Howland.”

Clearly The Best Water LLC

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – “We are a local bottled water company and deliver to about a 60 mile radius of here, to homes, businesses, industry and stores,” says Chris DeSarro, owner.

The company is continuing to operate, having been deemed an essential operation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he says.
 
“There is no higher priority than the health and well being of our employees and customers. We are closely monitoring all of the public announcements and guidelines available to make our best decisions for our people and our customers,” DeSarro says.

“We have mandated preventive measures as prescribed by our health authorities, and continue to maintain or deliveries to help maintain stability of the public while we tread through these uncharted times.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.