Small towns face coronavirus threat by unifying, keeping each other afloat

Brookhaven business owners support each other, even in competition

small towns and coronavirus

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - By nature of their smaller populations, small town business owners have recently been hit hard by shoppers suspending their usual buying routines.

Brookhaven’s usually booming downtown is quieter now. The happy hometown feeling is still there, but it’s a little subdued. That’s because Brookhavenites are taking the coronavirus threat seriously.

“In true Brookhaven and Lincoln County fashion, our small business owners are taking this very seriously, but they are being creative in their ways of selling goods," said Katie Nations of the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce. "Restaurants are having curbside pickup, and we’re seeing our small retailers with a very good social media presence and of course upping their game on their websites.”

When everyone’s stuck at home, it seems that’s all they CAN do. And they do. But Brookhaven takes care of its own.

“One thing I’ve seen in the past few days is that other businesses that might be considered competitive businesses, they’ve been sharing each other’s specials, whether it be curbside takeout, or be sure you visit our website that we’ve been working on for a while that we’re going live tomorrow, so I think that’s a wonderful thing to be bringing those retailers and restaurants together and they’re all there supporting each other,” Nations said.

Dinki Davis owns Dude’s Hot Biscuits on Highway 51.

“My thing is I try to support all of our local businesses," she said. "If we go out to eat, we’re going locally to one of the other places, because you know, we support those people and they support us. We’re their customers, and they’re our customers.”

While things may not look so great on the horizon, maybe folks are finding something that is fundamentally small-town, and that’s family.

“Brookhaven is resilient. Kids playing in the back yard, and I think we’re making the most of it at this time, and we hope to come out stronger than ever before,” she said.

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