BEAVERTON – On Friday, June 19, a community-wide event was held in Beaverton called Bounce Back with Beaverton. This event brought out the best of the local community by showing support to both businesses and their customers.
Many Beaverton businesses participated in the event in different ways. Some offered discounts on products or services, others provided special promotions, and some simply gave away items for those who stopped in. All of these businesses had one thing in common, and that was the care and passion they have for one another and for the community.
Amy Dull, owner of Flower Scents, a floral and gift shop in Beaverton organized the event after hearing the struggles of her fellow business owners throughout Gladwin County.
“Yvette Keast (Executive Director of the Gladwin County Chamber of Commerce) asked me to take part in a Zoom meeting with Jason Wentworth (local state representative) about small business,” Amy said. “There were other small businesses in both Gladwin and Beaverton in the meeting and when I sat in that meeting, I thought ‘how can I take what I wanted to do for myself and incorporate everyone else,’ because I’m not the only one who is hurting right now.”
One of Amy’s goals for the event was to establish a safe and protective environment for people to shop in and to enjoy. The event also played a part in allowing for local residents to see which businesses have reopened in the area and helped to spread the word about those that gave back to the community during trying times.
Many of the businesses in Beaverton take part in the community by sponsoring local events and sports. With some of those events beginning to once again organize including local sports, the businesses are becoming uneasy about the support they will be able to provide in the near future. A forced closure of business for an extended period of time takes away a significant revenue that these businesses have come to rely on; especially businesses such as Flower Scents that thrive in the spring time.
“Now more than ever, we have to support one another,” Amy said. “There is so much that goes into small business that people don’t realize. I think to myself ‘will I be able to give to this fundraiser?’ because thats something I like to do with this business is support the community, but that may all change for a lot of the small businesses.”
The store reopening its doors was enough for a majority of Amy’s customers who were happy just to be able to browse and shop again. Amy is glad to ensure the happiness of her shoppers after the recent disasters that affected many of her customers at home.
“My customers are like my family,” Amy said. “When things like [the flood] happen, our small community continues to figure out how to overcome whatever obstacle we have, together.”
Tracy Summers, owner of the Family Hair Care Salon in Beaverton maintained close connections with her clientele throughout the months of being closed by bringing her work home with her. Once the salon was forced to close its doors to the public, Tracy moved all of her points of contact to her house including her work computer and phone. The short closure notice didn’t allow for Tracy to contact all of her clients with scheduled appointments in time at work, so she did so from home.
“We had to reschedule everyone, but we didn’t want to schedule them with the fear that we would have to reschedule yet again,” Tracy said. “I touched based with everybody that was on the schedule for the next couple of weeks and said that ‘I’ll call you back, or you can call me back, or we can wait and see.’”
Once the announcement was made that salons and barber shops would be able to reopen on June 15, Tracy revisited her client list and made calls to reschedule the people she had missed. This was not only a display of good business practice, but also of customer loyalty. Once the salons and barber shops across Michigan were forced to close, many businesses made no point of contact with their clients, relying on the news to be enough for them to realize the cancelation. Once the shops reopened across the state, many who had appointments were forced to fight the masses for a new appointment instead of receiving any sort of contact from the business to reinstate their appointment.
The period of remaining closed left a lot of Tracy’s clients in anticipation for the reopening. Once the reopening was announced, Tracy worked hard to both reschedule and schedule clients at short notice.
“There were so many uncertainties to how we were even going to be able to open up,” Tracy said.
After the initial reopening, Tracy mentioned that although business has been very busy, it has been much more manageable. Her salon created a hair product promotion for the Bounce Back with Beaverton event in order to both promote the fact that her salon is now open and also to show support for her clientele.
“We’re promoting the event to get people to come out and to come back into Beaverton,” Tracy said. “But it was tough because as a business, you hate to have a sale or to undercut anything because you’ve already gone so long without the business.”
The community has established a self-sustaining model for itself and the local businesses. The recent impact of both the May flood and the Coronavirus have made it difficult for this model to continue the way it always has. Bounce Back with Beaverton is the first step in a long walk this community will take to restore the self-sustaining model and in-turn will allow for us to grow as neighbors.