With everyday life and business changing constantly to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, it can be hard to keep up with what businesses are doing at any given time: Open or closed?
Do they provide curbside or drive-through service? Is take-out service available? Have their hours changed?
Gov. Andy Beshear has been making daily announcements that have changed business as usual, but which local businesses do those announcements apply to?
The Princeton-Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page has become a one-stop location for Caldwell County residents to get the latest on local business closings, partial closings and changes to service.
The Facebook page can be found by searching “Princeton/Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce.” It has posts from several businesses and organizations around the county with news of how they are adapting to keep people healthy.
On Monday alone, there were posts from:
• Food Giant telling people that it may limit the number of items and alter its hours to allow for cleaning as well as announcing an incoming shipment of ground beef.
• The Princeton Rotary Club reminding members that it is not meeting on Tuesdays until further notice.
• Community Medical Clinic with ideas about how to relieve anxiety.
• Woodall Agency announcing that its office is closed to the public until further notice.
• Cole Lumber Company stating that its office is open as an essential business.
• Joy Prom-Princeton announcing that its annual event has been canceled.
Chamber Executive Director Chad Oliver said the Facebook page is a way to reach out to the county’s residents with important information.
“The social media aspect of the chamber is something that’s kind of been lacking for a while,” he said. “That’s the direction that we’ve been wanting to head for quite a while, and when I took over in November, that was one of the things that I had on my mind to focus on.
“It’s drawn more businesses in. We’re getting their information out and, especially in a time like we’re going through right now, it’s helping quite a bit to bring Caldwell up to date.”
Oliver said that the chamber does not yet have a dedicated website and depends on the Facebook page to get the word out to members and residents.
He added that he welcomes information from area businesses, organizations and churches to keep people informed as situations change.
“Some smaller businesses may have a Facebook page, but it doesn’t seem like they get a lot of traffic,” Oliver said. “When it’s put on our Facebook page and we can circulate it, it gets their information out and it draws people to their website.
“That’s what we want to do. That’s what the chamber is here for, to promote our local businesses, help get them noticed and help them get their information out.”
Oliver added that churches are changing the way they reach out to their congregations — some through Facebook Live or YouTube or other online means — and need to let people know how they can view nontraditional services.
Those who want to provide information about their business, organization or church can email that information to Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When a business has something that’s posted on Facebook or as soon as someone emails me information that they need published on Facebook, it’s right then and there,” he said.
“Right now, our Facebook page is a one-stop shop for all of our businesses in town and out-of-town. Especially at a time like this, with the coronavirus, it’s helped us keep our public informed as to what’s going on.”