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Small towns rally around small businesses amid Coronavirus threat

How Susquehanna is remaining Strong during hard economic times

SUSQUEHANNA, Pa. — One community in Susquehanna County is banding together to support small businesses during the closures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As businesses are forced to keep limited hours or even close, to prevent the possible spread of the Coronavirus, it's starting to hurt the bottom line, especially for small businesses in the borough of Susquehanna.

" It's been really difficult.  Our business was just really starting to pick up.  We were just gearing up to add additional staff, and we were ready for larger crowds, more beer, and that's kind of at a standstill," said Karen Downton, owner of Iron Horse Brewing Company.

Iron Horse Brewing Company is the newest small business to Main Street, a street filled with family-owned businesses that are all hurting.

" Recently, right on Main Street, we've been working on this revitalization effort, and now all of a sudden we're seeing our local economy just take a huge hit so right now more than ever we have to work together. It's community over competition right now," said Erica Mills, owner of Harmony Portraits.

This crisis is bringing out the good in people everywhere.  It didn't take long for us to hear about a worker at a local store buying items for people who couldn't get out and delivering to them after her shift with money out of her own pocket.

" We have a hero at the Dollar General. She's a hero. She's helped so many people, Elaine.  A great person, big heart. She's helped so many people already," said Raymond Testa of Susquehanna.

The small business spirit in strong in Susquehanna, finding new ways to keep the business going as best they can and provide some normalcy for their customers.

Melissa Dubas owns Harper Hill Crafts.  She hosts crafting classes for people in her studio, but can no longer hold gatherings, so she's improvising."

" I started doing 'Take & Makes.'  People can send me their order, and I can have it ready to go, and they can make it at their home," said Melissa Dubas, owner of Harper Hill Crafts.

It didn't take long for others to come up with ideas to beat the quarantine blues.  A Facebook page called Skills of Susquehanna was created for anyone to post how-to videos for indoor activities.

" People teaching how to make fishing lures, how to do paper airplanes. We've got a woman who is going to do a bread making demo today.  All sorts of really cool stuff and that's been really exciting. It's not just for the kids that are shut down to do but also the adults," continued Erika.

" Our businesses support our kids. They support little league, they do everything, so we need to stand by them during this time and help them wherever we can," continued Melissa.

Anyone supporting small businesses or sharing information in the borough can use the hashtag "Susquehanna Strong" on social media to help spread the word on happenings.