Businesses Band Together

March 23, 2020

For the first time in 46 years, downtown Clare was nearly deserted when it should have been full of parade entries and an enthusiastic crowd for the annual Irish Parade.

By Pat Maurer

The Clare County communities have always “stepped up” to help others out when there is a family crisis. They are there whenever there is a need.

The business community is always there to help out as well, with fundraisers and more.

The recent pandemic crisis is no exception with businesses banding together to help each other and the community, even as the quarantine situation threatens their own livelihood.

For example, Dollar General stores have announced that the first hour of operations during the day will be dedicated to senior customers.

The Dollar General Corporation headquarters in Tennessee announced Monday that they “are strongly encouraging the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.”

In addition, “all stores plan to close one hour earlier than current close times to allow employees to clean and re-stock store shelves.”

Nearly every area restaurant is offering take out and curbside service while their dining rooms are closed by executive order.

Besides doing their part providing a place to pick up a cup of coffee and doughnut, and helping by providing loads of home-made bread every day, Cops and Doughnuts have started a project for kids who are now confined to home, geared to make their home stay more fun and help out parents as well.

Al White (Bubba) and Greg Rynearson (Rhino) are hosting “Learnin’ with Bubba & Ryno!” live on the Cops and Doughnuts Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m. for the next three weeks. “We are doing it for the kids,” Bubba said. “They get to watch us acting goofy while teaching about making donuts and slipping in a bit of science and math in the process. That was their first video, and more is planned on bread making and even handwashing. They are hoping to have some instruction on that from a licensed nurse. Bubba said they had hundreds of views for their first “lesson,” some from viewers around the country, even from a school in Texas.

Clare Hardware announced on Facebook, “We’d like to ease the stress that going out in public may have in the coming weeks and offer a call-ahead parking lot pick-up option for all our customers in both of our locations. Call ahead with your detailed order, pay by credit card over the phone and call us again when you get to the store. We’ll meet you at your car window.”

Clare County Transit (CCTC) is now offering free grocery pick up and porch delivery for senior passengers and those with risk factors associated with COVID-19. Currently Steve’s Country Market in Harrison and Carrow’s Supermarket in Farwell are participating. Other stores are working on a system and CCTC is able to work with any stores that may want to start this service for their shoppers.

To use this service; call your store of choice, give them your shopping list, arrange payment over the phone and leave your address. When your order is complete your store will call CCTC for transportation of your groceries. If you would like to call CCTC’s dispatch to notify us as well you are welcome to do so.

If any passenger or store has questions they are welcome to contact CCTC’s dispatch at 539-1473 or message their Facebook page.

Both Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have said they will suspend nonpayment shutoff for low income and senior customers.

Even local libraries are doing their part for their “customers.”

Sheila Bissonnette, MLIS Library Director said, “Over the weekend we made the difficult decision to close to the public both the Pere Marquette District Library and the Harrison District Library through April 5th.  This morning Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2020-9 for the temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation (which includes public libraries).”

She continued, “We are in the process of confirming that the EO doesn’t restrict our plan to offer limited access to library resource.  As of right now we are planning to offer curbside service of library materials.  However, this could change, we are waiting for clarification from the Library of Michigan.”

“As of right now,” she said, “The Library staff will be available by telephone or social media messaging, Monday – Friday from 10am to 2pm.”

Contact the Harrison District Library at 539-6711 or the Pere Marquette District Library 386-7576.

Bissonnette said, “Both libraries will be offering curb side pick-up of library materials.  For any library items you want to check out, please call the individual library to arrange a pick-up time.  For our shut-in patrons we will also be offering delivery of library materials.  Please call your library for more information regarding home delivery.”

She added that the Pere Marquette District Library offers after hour lockers to pick up library materials.  Library items will be placed in the locker for 24 hours.  Call 386-7576 to set up a locker pick up.  ”All current library due dates will be extended until April 6th, Bissonnette said.

Both the Pere Marquette District Library and the Harrison District Libraryoffer a downloadable library services.  Please check out and to find out what electronic resources are available. 

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One Response to Businesses Band Together

  1. Claire Meyer Reply

    March 24, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    What is Witbeck’s doing to aid the community??

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