You Can’t Take Our Local Businesses, COVID-19


Last week I carried on with my normal errands and tasks around town; went to the library with the kids, walked around some local stores and boutiques, had park dates, went grocery shopping, had some coffee dates around town; because COVID-19 didn’t hit home for my family and me quite yet. Yes, I was aware and very saddened for the thousands of people being impacted around the world. And yes, I was buying extra medicine, bleach, ramen noodles, and toilet paper than normal; but I wasn’t too concerned…yet.

And then our Governor, Mike Dewine spoke yesterday afternoon, informing us parents that our children’s schools, K-12, were to be closed for 3 weeks starting Monday, March 16th, in hopes of slowing down the spread of this virus. All of a sudden, things became very real for me and my family at that moment. And it became very real for everyone in my community apparently, because you could hardly move past people in the aisles of Kroger, just an hour after this announcement was made.

Fear and panic are starting to creep into our communities, and it has people questioning, and local businesses questioning, what our “new norm” is going to look like for a while. My husband and I own, “General’s Ice Cream” in Whitehouse, and we have already had to put in place safety and health precautions for our employees and our customers. We have had to brainstorm ideas on how to keep our customers feeling safe and comfortable with still coming to our store while this pandemic is taking place. We have had to consider all of the “unknowns” of what this means for our business during this time. And just as our family business is wondering how this will all play out, so are the countless other small businesses within Northwest Ohio.

Unfortunately, this pandemic WILL hurt our favorite local businesses, that make our communities feel like home to us. Local coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, churches, events, etc.; will all feel the weight of this virus on their shoulders, due to the possible decrease in sales and so forth. And as much as I understand the hesitation in spending money on other things rather than toilet paper and necessities for our families, I also do believe it is a necessity that we all still support and shop local during this time.

Your favorite coffee shop that is just down the road from you will really appreciate you still buying a cup of coffee from them; even if it’s just once or twice a week. The amazing restaurant your family loves to go to would love for you to still have dinner there occasionally, or place a carryout order. The cute boutique that you love to splurge at, would love for you to still come in and shop for maybe not a whole new outfit, but maybe for a pair of jeans or some adorable new earrings, or even shop online. Whatever you can do to still support local, DO IT. Because not only will our favorite Northwest Ohio businesses appreciate it, but our entire community as a whole will benefit from it as well.

Ways to Support Local:

1. Shop Local! Even if you don’t feel comfortable getting out and about – many local businesses and shops have online options with local pickup or delivery. Local shops enrich our community, and we think it’s important to continue to support them (even if it’s offered on Amazon for a few extra dollars).
2. Dine Local. Many local restaurants offer takeout options, prepared meals, catering, and some even partner with delivery services. So while we are practicing social distancing as a community, restaurants are still open and have ways to get you fed.
3. Social Media Love. The internet is a scary place right now, but what if we took a few minutes to hop on social media and comment with kindness and appreciation for the businesses we love? Speaking from experience as a small business ourselves, it means the world when someone takes the time to be kind on social media. At Toledo Moms we say this is the equivalent of a virtual thank you. And it’s free!
4. Write a Review. We hear this time and time again, small businesses depend on reviews. It takes only a few moments and makes a significant impact to write a Google or Facebook review for a business you love.
5. Don’t Forget the Non-Profits. Our hearts sincerely go out to the organizations whose funding and operations are being impacted. Don’t forget about the organizations you are passionate about and show them love if you are able. Additionally, you can talk to a community resource advisor by dialing 2-1-1 or send your zip code to 898-211, or online chat at
6. Be Kind. Last but not least.  This is an incredibly stressful time, and it’s important to remember that all of us are feeling the impact. Let’s do our best to be kind in our interactions as the world is off-kilter at the moment.

We WILL eventually stop having to load up on hand sanitizer. We WILL eventually send our kids back to school. This pandemic WILL END eventually, mamas. And when it does, we WILL still have our favorite local businesses around to celebrate, shop, and support, if we stick by their sides during this difficult time, and keep their heads and dreams above water. Let this not be a time of fear and panic, but a time of still supporting each other and helping each other…even if we do that from 6 feet apart.

Also a small business locally owned and operated, Toledo Moms is doing everything we can to provide resources and a bit of encouragement to our local community. We, like so many others, have also been impacted and are so very grateful for this supportive community and welcome any ideas you might have in how we might all come together to support local.
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Mariah Carroll
Mariah is a 27 year old wife and stay at home mother who resides in Whitehouse. She has been married to her husband, Brian, for five years, and together they have their son, Gabe (3 1/2 years old), and their daughter, Tessa (17 months old). Mariah and her husband run the local ice cream shop within Whitehouse called, “Generals Ice Cream”, and they love having their family involved within the community. In Mariah’s free time she loves to encourage women and mothers through her blog and social media accounts, to bloom into the best God-intended versions of themselves in the midst of every day life and motherhood. (#mamainbloom). She is passionate about encouraging women to deepen their relationships with the Lord and to strive for their dreams and goals that God has given them the desire to pursue. Mariah also enjoys reading, photography, interior decorating, fashion, spending time with her family and friends, and just about anything that has to do with Christmas. Follow Mariah on Instagram @mariah_carroll , and her blog at .


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