There are a lot of words that can describe our present:

Uncertain.

Strange.

Unprecedented.

But if we were tasked to describe our current reality with a single word, we’d go with “scary.”

These are frightening times for us all. As we watch the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus grow across our state and throughout our country, and with them an ever climbing death count, we can’t help but wonder what our future will look like when this pandemic inevitably ends.

That’s especially true for small business owners, many of whom have been forced to shutter their businesses due to social distancing, or have had to drastically change their operations to keep their doors open. The economics of small business ownership are fragile even during the best of times; for countless small businesses nationwide, COVID-19 has shattered those economics like porcelain.

In this week’s front-page feature, “Adapt. Survive. Thrive.” we showcase three very different local businesses that have made significant changes in their day-to-day operations during the viral outbreak. It’s a snippet of a larger story being told all over our county, a brief look into the uncertainty, challenges and potential areas of growth currently facing our local entrepreneurs.

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Mississippi’s unemployment claims spiked by more than 500% from last week. People are struggling financially and will be for the foreseeable future. But we ask those who can to please support local businesses however they can. Buy a family meal from your favorite eatery (delivered curbside, of course). Order something online from your favorite boutique. In the case of your local newspaper, subscribe.

Every dollar you spend with these businesses will help keep their doors open whenever those doors open again.

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