A Message from the Lafayette Chamber

Small businesses run on hard work and expectations. One of those expectations is knowing you will be open and ready for business each day. But that has changed for many businesses in our neighborhood. The PSPS (Power Shutdowns) have been a big challenge to our community. For families, it disrupts their routines. Added pressure comes when you don’t have electricity and you can not predict if school will be open for the kids, or the gas station open to fill up. We rely on the services around us to get by each day. We take them for granted. We take electricity, and gas, and communications for granted. Now we face the “New Normal.” Our businesses have suffered and this is one of those times we need to thank our business community by supporting them.

Let’s go old school, skip the shopping on Amazon these next few weeks and shop downtown. Shopping Local matters! Remember, when downtown closes the city loses the sales tax revenue that goes directly into the city’s General Fund.  All of us were inconvenienced with the shutdowns. Small businesses were devastated. Profit margins are fragile and loosing multiple days of commerce is critical to their survival. Restaurants and grocery stores took the biggest hit. They had to deal with all the perishables that were lost or at risk.

There will be discussion on who is responsible. Will there be compensation for the lost time and products? People are mad and this is understandable. But please, don’t take your anger out on the very people who are trying to help you. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of PG&E linemen. They have been yelled at, threatened, and been given the finger. These are not the people that have made questionable decisions about our utilities over the last 40 years. In my opinion, like our first responders, they are the heroes in this story.  Show them you appreciate the work they are asked to do.

Lafayette has embraced the concept of BE KIND. Let’s model kindness. And one way we can do that is to support our local businesses. Put some money in the meters without getting “pissed off.” We are all in this together. Our local merchants will be happy to see you.

Jay Lifson, Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce