To the editor:

Anyone who’s driven down Broadway recently can attest to the long-awaited signs of economic recovery. Retail shops, boutiques and restaurants are slowly reopening, and the warmer weather has spurred increased foot traffic that makes the town feel bustling again.

As good as it feels to be turning a corner, we can’t overlook how much work remains to get back to “normal.” May is National Small Business Month and now more than ever before, small businesses in Quincy need your support.

When the pandemic first hit, like so many other small business owners, I was unsure how I could guide my sweets shop through the uncertainty. Business relief programs and grants were important mechanisms of support, but they were never going to be enough to keep my business afloat. It quickly became clear that, if we were going to survive, we had to take matters into our own hands.

So, instead of bowing out, I doubled down.

I moved my bakery, The Yum Factory, to Broadway and invested in our business like never before. We hired more staff, purchased equipment needed to safely operate outdoor dining, and, for the first time ever, added alcohol to the menu. We leaned into Facebook to complement our advertising efforts and reach a niche audience at an affordable price. We also forged important connections with members of the community who we know share common interests. Thanks to Facebook Groups like Q Town Shop Local Guide and Q Town Restaurant Guide - which collectively reach nearly 20,000 locals - we are creating new relationships with potential customers that will be pivotal as we recover.

Amid signs of economic recovery is the harsh reality that operating a business is harder than ever before. Like other business owners, we’re still struggling with a rising cost of sales, inconsistent supply chains, and unpredictable consumer buying patterns – all of which threaten our survival.

Still, there’s reason to be optimistic. As we emerge from the fog, I hope we can count on our Quincy friends and neighbors to continue to choose to shop local whenever possible. You are a critical piece of the recovery puzzle, so please post reviews, share endorsements and recommendations, give your favorite shops a shout-out online, or join one of Quincy’s Facebook Groups. These small acts will be what keep us moving in the right direction in the weeks and months to come.

Melanie Aitken

Owner, The Yum Factory

Quincy

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