Like most people I started off in January 2020 with great expectations. I had been named Pet Sitters’ International Pet Sitter of the Year, chosen my charity – the Craven K-9 Corps, had a full calendar of sits scheduled and team of 5 to help me care for the critters.  And like everyone else my plan went to pieces in March due to the Corona Virus pandemic.

However, November is a time of gratitude and as I look back I am so grateful for friends and colleagues who have helped me navigate these troubled waters and kept me and my business going.  As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

Early on when the Covid-19 quarantine hit, I brainstormed with several business owners and leaders in New Bern: Jane Maulucci of The Reactive Voice, Telly Ipock of LinearTech, Kelly Michaud of Solid Rock Accounting, Bob Mackowski of Open Aperture Photography, and Deborah Kania of the Small Business Center at Craven Community College.  It was a great sharing of ideas, guidance, and encouragement to keep me going.

Small business owners are a strongly independent bunch who carved out their niche through hard work and the pursuit of a dream.  Before COVID, we employed almost 50% of the American workers. When our businesses came to a screeching halt, we pulled together with genuine concerns for our survival.

We advocated for each other and helped each other through a crisis that affected us all.  We reacted, responded, pivoted, reinvented and continue to fight to maintain our businesses. 

Small businesses are the service industries with home offices, the vendors at the Farmer’s Market, and the brick and mortar stores scattered around town.  These locally owned companies are the fabric of our neighborhood and the backbone of our community. 

As you start hunting for your holiday purchases, shop small. Shop the small businesses that keep our community going by providing jobs, taxes, and support to our town. Your local purchases can make a big difference for a small business.  Let’s all join together to make this happen and fight the downturn this pandemic is having on our nation’s economy and the fabric of our towns.

I know that I am grateful for the people who have helped me through the past year and I know that by shopping local I will, in a small way, be saying “Thank you!” for the support I received.

For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking, contact Jeanne Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Critter Care.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

Get more pro tips to take care of your pets by subscribing to our newsletter and blog.