Small businesses around the country have struggled to deal with new challenges brought on by COVID-19. The global pandemic has had negative impacts across the economy but local chambers of commerce in Wetumpka and Millbrook are doing their best to combat those effects.
Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Shellie Whitfield said she was dreading some of the calls she had to make to the member businesses but she was pleasantly surprised with the response she has gotten over the last couple of months. Whitfield credited the community with how supportive it has been to local businesses.
With Wetumpka continuing its revitalization of downtown, Whitfield said there was some concern about how the coronavirus would slow down the city’s momentum. However, the chamber continued to work hard and spoke with businesses daily to find new ways to help.
That extra effort was seen by other businesses as well as Wetumpka has not slowed down its growth. Whitfield has helped orchestrate three ribbon cutting ceremonies in the last week and has one more scheduled for Thursday.
Cara’s Café and Bakery had its grand opening last Thursday and Whitfield quickly got to see another celebration when The Yellow Daffodil Boutique had its ribbon cutting ceremony Friday. Two of a Kind Spa and Boutique held a grand opening Tuesday and Manino Fashions and Designs is scheduled to hold its ribbon cutting Thursday.
The Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce has seen plenty of success as well. The chamber hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday, celebrating the opening of Country Treasures Arts and Crafts Consignment Store.
Millbrook also added a new Waffle House location over the summer and Taco Bell is also opening a store which is expected to be ready by the beginning of fall. Executive director Elisa Jones said the chamber has welcomed businesses who are trying to branch out from Montgomery and Millbrook provides a growing city that still has a small-town feel to it.