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Small businesses building new foundation for success during pandemic

'Mom and pops' are working to promote each other on social media.

WADSWORTH, Ohio — The coronavirus pandemic is hitting small business owners especially hard. As they brace for potentially long-term financial effects, a local community is banding together to build a new foundation for success.

"We just started thinking about how can we support our fellow merchants and how we can jump start together," explained Nicole Mikoda, co-owner of Valley Café and Dolce at the Strand in Wadsworth.

Dolce opened just 90 days before the pandemic hit and closed during the state shutdown. Valley Café stayed open for carryout.

"For us, we really just had to get grounded in what we could control and work on what we could control and then we just looked to faith and prayer to the things we couldn’t control," she said.

Once business started to open, there was a push to bring customers back to Downtown Wadsworth. Mikoda decided to offer free gelato to customers who brought in a receipt for service or goods from any downtown business. "Mom and pop" shops are also working to promote each other on social media.

"We’re only as strong as we are together," she said ."So if one person’s winning, we’re all winning; if one person’s losing, we’re all losing."

While the free gelato deal is over, Mikoda says there could be more promotions in the future. She says it’s important to invest in small businesses because they need support now more than ever.

"This is a long term issue, and it’s not going to go away," she explained. "The ripple effect will be felt for months, probably years."

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