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From a worldwide pandemic to Iowa’s derecho, 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone.

That is particularly true for small business owners.

Operational restrictions imposed under governors’ emergency health proclamations caused businesses to either temporarily shut their doors or find an alternative way to get their goods to customers.

Curbside delivery became the norm and many businesses that already had an online storefront presence expanded it; those who didn’t were introduced to the need.

Just when things started to open up some, a derecho caused disruption, tearing through the Gateway area and knocking out power for several days.

After getting back on track following the storm, small businesses continued to power through a new normal, which no doubt has meant less foot traffic in small businesses as people continue to distance themselves from others.

We know the negative impact on the bottom line has again been magnified as health officials tell people to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the holiday season.

So as Christmas approaches, it is tempting to get online and do all the shopping in one swoop from big box stores. But our hope is that residents will check out what their local stores are selling online, purchase gift cards through local stores and restaurants and do whatever they can to support the stores that are run by our friends and neighbors.

2020 is going to be a year that makes or breaks a business’s future. Hopefully we can all do something to prop them up during this difficult year.

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