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Bright Side 16: Things are looking up for small businesses as outdoor dining returns

From signs of solidarity to a much-awaited day for area businesses, it's the mix making up this Bright Side 16 segment.

It's the bright side for many, the fact that the last county in our area that has been in the red, Lackawanna County, goes yellow today, Friday, June 5, 2020, meaning more options for families.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey showed what this much anticipated day meant to some locally owned businesses.

Ryan visited Maiolatesi Wine Cellars in Scott Township. The place, like many other mom and pop shops that serve in Lackawanna County, is getting ready to welcome customers back for outdoor dining.

Also as part of this Bright Side 16 segment, Ryan shared some of your uplifting images and posts to showcase what you're excited about here at home as things start to look up.

Whether it's on social media or in person, it seems dining out is all the dish these days.

"Definitely. Tired of doing take out. You go to the restaurants, you take it home, and it's cold. So I feel going out to eat and taking the kids out and not having to worry about anything," Peter Ketch of Carbondale said. 

For others, it's a night out with friends they can't wait for down the road. 

"Going out Thursday night, Friday night to the clubs and going out to eat," Rick Merli of Peckville said.

Stephanie Hilbert of Jessup is on the same page and is thrilled to see many spots reopen. "Everyone takes it for granted; things change in a second."

It's something COVID-19 really put into perspective. 

"I think every day; I'm looking to be grateful for something. Right now, I'm spending more time on the trail, going for walks. So a lot of ways it's been about reinventing yourself and seeing what's important to you," Tom Horeis of Peckville said. 

Whether it's continuing to express gratitude to those frontline workers who show up to help all of us, or peacefully standing in solidarity for each other and for equal rights, there are plenty of positive vibes lately.

And it's also that kind of positive energy that many of us are all sending to the locally owned small businesses across our area, the engine of our economy, as they and so many others start to get back on their feet, working to survive and thrive again.

RELATED: Restaurants, clothing stores gear up to reopen as Lackawanna County moves into yellow phase

RELATED: Getting ready for outdoor dining

How to get involved with Bright Side 16

The easiest way is by posting your uplifting photos or videos to Ryan's Facebook page when he puts the call out for those positive stories where you're making an impact.

Another way is to use "#BrightSide16" (all one word) on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. This way, it allows Newswatch 16 to find your images a lot faster.

You can also text Newswatch 16 at 800-533-news AKA 800-533-6397. You can save that number as WNEP, Newswatch 16, or something fun like "My Bestie Leckey."

When texting, please type the word "BrightSide16" (all one word) in the message section of the text message.

Please be sure to include who's in the photo, what you're doing, and where you're from.