With a quick sleight of hand in the middle of March, as a country, we were told what was deemed essential and not essential. No questions asked, no formal process, no judicial hearings and just like that doors were shut. As small business owners, we were faced with protecting our patrons by any means possible to an unknown enemy which, for a big majority of us, was putting people first and our own families needs on hold.
It is impossible to know the struggles of a small business owner unless, well you are a small business owner. From payroll taxes, to marketing, advertising, HR, hiring, firing, training and fulfillment of products and service the best possible way. Then to go home and worry about legal aspects of your business, customer satisfaction, costs of goods and yes profitability. We take on the weight of providing for our own families as well as other families too.
No doubt this pandemic and the shut down has hit this country hard. This will take years to recover from and yet the question lingers…was the shutdown right? Was it an infringement on our personal rights? Our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What about the commerce act? How far can a government go?
While we contemplate the unknowns of a never seen before pandemic and acts of federal and state governments, the resounding voice of the small business owner, the heart of any community, asks “Am I Not Essential?”
So this edition and at these times, we dedicate this to small business leaders in our community as we “redefine essential”. When salons and restaurants were shut down while liquor stores and dispensaries saw record profits. Schools made significant shifts with seniors missing their crescendo of proms, caps and gowns and backyard graduation celebrations while state officials congregated with wardrobe, makeup, lighting and camera teams to unveil further restrictions.
The significant loss in all of this was the people’s choice to define what is essential and what is not. To let the compromised quarantine and the healthy decide for themselves and their families what is essential and not.
The beauty of our country is choice. My hopes is that you read and see the hearts of our small business owners of Elko. That you see that they are not all for profits or trying to maliciously infect the public, but all see their essential piece of the mosaic that makes up OUR heart of the community. That makes up our commerce and its vital pulse to our economy. That some have lost it all, some lost what they have taken decades to build and some are just barely getting by.
That in the statement of essential can we not ask at what cost. EVERY single business owner would close their doors to save a life. They would sacrifice their own livelihood and success so that others may have a chance to breath another day and many did just that. So thank them, support them and help them anyway you can and take a moment today to read about how essential they are to our community, your lives and our wonderful community. #redefiningessential #elkoessential
I am essential because the HealthCare Clinic of the future is the gym. We promote active and healthy human beings, not prescriptions that mask the underlying issues. – Keith Allen
of NV Fitness
“I’m the owner of Serenity Massage and have served my community for over 10 years now. We are in a time where stress and tensions are high and can cause ones health to decline faster. Massage therapists are Essential not only for keeping the body loose and healthy but also to help ease your mind. Our board is one of the strictest in the state when it comes to keeping our establishments clean. We will do what we have to do to be able to serve our clients in a warm loving and healthy environment.” – Angie Peters
“I’m the owner of Journeys Around the World travel and I proudly just celebrated my 5th anniversary. I started my company in 2015 so I could help people plan their special trips, so they could make amazing memories with the people they love. I think travel is essential for people’s well being and mental health, as it is a way to bring great joy. People have lost that joy right now.” – Sue Bradford
“We employ 26 individuals in Elko/Spring Creek – and most of them are single mothers trying to support their children. We have 3 employees that are working their way through college – we are so proud of how hard all of our employees work and how much they genuinely love working at Cook’s – we are truly one big family! We are very lucky to have the most amazing people of all ages and backgrounds on our team, which allows us to serve this awesome community… a true blessing and appreciated opportunity.” – Ericia Cook
“We help families By keeping their pets safe, when traveling whether it be to relax, work, or god forbid an emergency. We are also professional dog trainers and we rescue and rehabilitate dogs from all over the country. We also breed and train narcotic, explosive, search and rescue, protection, service dogs, and emotional support dogs for not only our community but those around us. Thank you for making us feel ESSENTIAL” – Angela Power / Powerhouse K9’s.
“We opened Comforts of Home in 1996 because we saw a need for good quality and affordable heating solutions for the home. At the time, my dad was building custom homes (Dean Sherwood Construction) and his clients were wanting help getting fireplaces in their homes – and custom window coverings when the home was finished. We were new to Elko ourselves and felt this was something that we could grow into. We are proud to have served Elko and the surrounding areas for the past 24 years! We are essential because we provide affordable heating solutions to Elko homes. We sell and service Gas – Wood and Pellet stoves and fireplaces – and we also sell Pellet Fuel. In fact, during this close down we have cautiously closed our doors to prevent the spread of the virus, but we have been able to do curbside deliveries of pellet fuel, or parts, etc.
We also sell the Big Green Egg – charcoal grills as well as the Pellet BBQ Grills by Green Mountain Grills. As families are home more and trying to take in more fresh air and enjoy the outdoors, they have been enjoying cooking many of their meals outdoors. We look forward to gradually opening the doors to the public, while taking every precaution to see that our customers, employees and community remains healthy. Thank you Elko for supporting us! – Cliff & Marcy / Comforts of Home
“During this unprecedented time, The Elko Area Chamber remains committed to serving our business community. We are working closely with local, state and federal officials along with staying in contact with government agencies to bring you the best resources available. We aim to keep businesses connected and informed during this uncertain time. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business community in immeasurable ways. In order to allow businesses to share needs, capabilities, offers, and insights into their operations we have remained working and are here to listen, support and advocate for your business. We are essential!!” – Billie Crapo
“I moved back to Nevada in 2018 after my family had purchased the old bank building. We saw a need for an expansion in the salon industry in Carlin and took it upon ourselves to open a salon for the community, specifically that would help the elderly and those who rarely get to leave our town to get their hair, nails, etc. done within the comfort of our town. We have many other family members in the salon business in Elko and deem ourselves essential as we are the only salon in our town and only 1/3 businesses here that was forced to close. Today we celebrated our second anniversary of being open and can not wait to open our doors again to our community” – Sophia Lucia of Shear Savagery Salon
“My years of service and countless continuing education hours along with a devoted clientele, are the reasons I am a successful and an essential salon owner in Elko. Every working day I provide my guests with a guarantee that before they arrive my workspace is sanitized and disinfected to the NV Cosmetology Board standard. I also create a comfortable and relaxing environment that allows guests to escape their daily chaos. I have built relationships that go beyond trusting me with shears and hot irons through my years of service. My guests rely on me for a non judgmental opinion in life and their hair. I have been a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on during their losses and failures and a cheerleader during their triumphs and accomplishments, and they have been there in the same ways for me. Because I value their friendship, loyalty and time, my mission is to provide an honest professional opinion and a one of a kind service that makes them feel confident and inspired. I use my education, skills and talents to be a leader anyway I can to my guests and peers. My profession as a cosmetologist is essential for the mental health and well being of the soul, for the beautiful people I have the privilege to work on daily in my community. The relationships I have with every one of my guests is valued more than I can even explain. I am humbled to have their commitment to be in my chair week after week and month after month. I owe them more than they expect and I will prove to them they are right where they are meant to be.” – Melissa Duke Cosmetologist- Escape hair and body Studio
“I opened Performance Athletic Club 9 years ago and I am essential because PAC ensures that you stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. Very essential in times like this!” – Jan/Owner
“We (Donuts N Mor) are helping people feed their families when other sources weren’t available to help them.” -Victoria Gravelin
“We at Empower Fitness have been in business since 2007. At the gym, over the years I’ve seen people change every aspect of their live, whether it’s weight gain, weight lose, overcoming bullying issues, drug use, family problems, psychological issues, aging and even over coming suicidal thoughts. For some that don’t understand, you may think a gym is pretty, tanned people loitering irresponsibly throughout day bragging about their bench press. Believe me, we have that too. But most importantly we are all of the above. We have helped 1000’s of people over the years. Shared laughs, wins, losses, blood and even tears with our family. We are Jeff and Mindy Watson with Empower Fitness and we are ESSENTIAL.” – Jeff Watson
“I own Bronze Beauty Bar we are a full service salon offering tanning, spray tanning, hair, nails, body contouring, and permanent makeup. I became a Business owner in 2006 after leaving the medical field after 5 years. I originally was a tanning salon only (which already included sanitizing every unit and room between use) and incorporated the beauty side 5 years ago (which has its own regulations for sanitation). I’m not only in the business of making people look good but, also about “making” them feel good. Tanning isn’t just about being tan. It creates Vitamin D , boosts serotonin levels, and treats skin conditions such as psoriasis. I have several clients that work shift work and have minimal sun exposure. Using our tanning units helps their bodies adjust to the lack of sun and Vitamin D it needs to function. These clients range from police officers, miners, and casino workers. And let me just say “beauty” isn’t all about being vain. Our nail techs trim the nails of client with diabetes and arthritis, that are unable to trim their own nails. We haven’t even touched on the importance of our clients mental health. I believe every business is essential or we wouldn’t be in business. We all have a need that helps someone and we can all find a way to offer that service in a safe way that is cleaner than any grocery store.” – Aimee Lesbo
“I bought Good Time Charlee’s 3 years ago when my husband passed away in a car accident to ensure that I could always take care of myself and my daughter. As a single mom, I know how hard that can be so I employed 6 single mothers before the closure, doing my part to help those women support themselves and their families. I have created a safe environment for people to gather and celebrate being alive. Social interaction is vital to our mental and physical health and having a safe, fun space to congregate is an important piece of that.”
– Kristie Brady
“You only get one chance to make a first impression and whether people should or shouldn’t evaluate you based on your overall appearance, they do. Only 7% of your impression, first or otherwise is based on what you say… the rest is all about how you show up. My business can give you an edge in the marketplace by helping you make the best possible authentic impression.” -Marie / Elko Bling
“Cosmetologist should be considered essential. We are critical to the community for numerous reasons. We provide a service that many people require for a dress code. We have elderly clients that are only able to get their hair done when they come to see us. The list goes on and on. Also our industry is strictly regulated with high sanitation standards and laws. It is part of our training, and testing to require a license. We care about our clients health as well as our own and our families.” – Connie Lynch
“I am one of the owners of Silver State Studios, with not being able to hold dance and cheer in the studio, it has had an impact on our children’s activity levels that they are so used to, which in turn can cause depression and a higher anxiety level. This is due to the lack of exercise. Children use dance and cheer to release their anxieties and depression through the intense practices they are used to. We will keep our studio to a 10 per class cap and sanitize mats and bars after each class.” – Marcella Syme
“We are University of Grappling, a martial arts gym. We provide our members with essential skills to defend themselves. In learning these skills, we consistently watch people gain confidence and an all over better well being. We often help women who have been in domestic violence situations regain mental and physical strength. Our kids program helps children being bullied to gain the skills and the confidence to stand up for themselves. The kids that are doing the bullying are taught to stop their behavior. We are essential because we give our members the confidence they need to live without the fear of being attacked. They learn the skills needed to protect themselves. This often leads to better nutrition and a healthier and happier lifestyle.” – Brandy Rowley
“Stanfill Consulting is working diligently to stay strong during these unusual times. As a business consulting company, it is essential we stay working for our clients and the community in many areas. We assist our clients with bookkeeping, IT support services, as well as computer and smart device repair. With more businesses working virtually, it is crucial we keep them going as efficiently as possible. We have been taking extra precautions to keep our staff and clients safe as they drop or pick up items.” – Elizabeth Stanfill
“The Pizza Barn is an independent family owned and operated restaurant serving Elko for over 37 years. We are an essential business because we are a family gathering place. Whatever it is that family and friends want to celebrate, or just to get together, they can do that at the Barn. Pizza Barn is a fun environment where everyone can relax and enjoy great pizza. That is something that we all can relate to right now.” – Tina and Lane Diedrichsen