Article originally published April 27, 2020
Last updated May 14, 2020
No individual or business has been spared from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Companies that were thriving in early March are now shut down by government orders, have furloughed their employees and are trying to figure out how to survive. Some are moving quickly to re-tool their business models. Many are hoping that new government stimulus programs will help to keep them alive. Other companies have made moves to completely re-position their efforts to meet the demands of today, like making masks and hand sanitizer. The speed at which everything changed causes us to think very differently about how we do strategic business planning in the future. We are learning that those plans need to include attention to playing defense as well as offense.
Just as GBQ empowers growth, we are pleased to share how our clients are empowering growth of their people and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Client stories will continue to be shared below and on GBQ’s social media platforms. We encourage clients to share their stories by tagging GBQ on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, and using the hashtag #GBQuarantine, or contacting us via email.
Local bakery pays tribute to special ingredient – local veterans
Fresh from France, family-owned French bakery and bistro, La Chatelaine, has filled the atmosphere of its three central Ohio locations with the aroma of freshly baked breads and croissants for nearly 30 years. While each space accommodates several special gatherings throughout the year, perhaps the most unique is the bakery’s annual event held in observation of D-Day, which began in 1994.
La Chatelaine CEO Charlotte Harden’s father was awarded the Medal of Merit, which was, at that time, the highest civilian U.S. decoration. To give thanks to the WWII veterans that petitioned for this honor, the family hosted an event for the veterans and their families. 26 years later, the celebration continues, as does La Chatelaine’s love and respect for all veterans. Although the onset of COVID-19 meant bidding au revoir to this year’s traditional celebration, La Chatelaine had just the right ingredients to uphold their commitment and honor tradition – this time by delivering freshly baked pastries to local veterans and those on the front lines providing their care.
Committed to a cleaner, healthier environment
Like many of us, you have probably cleaned more in the last several weeks than the past several years combined. And as the CDC continues to push the need for cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces, Stanely Steemer continues to answer the call for residents and businesses alike.
During these uncertain times, Stanley Steemer has continued to safely operate as an essential business under guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). But that hasn’t meant without change to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Pivoting almost overnight to keep employees and customers safe has meant introducing a new antimicrobial disinfectant into all standard cleaning processes, reducing crew sizes when possible, and disinfecting all materials between jobs. Stanley Steemer is also providing employees with the appropriate PPE so they can perform work safely and with confidence, in addition to implementing new employee training and increased emergency paid sick leave for all field-level employees, so no one has to choose between a paycheck and collective health and safety.
Responding to neighbors in need
Local nonprofit Besa Community, Inc. helps individuals use their voice, hands and dollars to empower others and build a more sustainable community. Throughout this time of uncertainty, Besa has remained committed to connecting others with neighbors in need and showing acts of gratitude through their week-long gratitude challenge. Efforts included:
- Serving meals to families and seniors at essential nonprofit partner organizations
- Supporting LifeCare Alliance and the Meals-on-Wheels through meal delivery to vulnerable neighborhoods
- Creating homemade masks for Columbus YWCA staff
- Delivering over 1,000+ handwritten cards to frontline heroes
While Besa’s initiative may have ended, opportunities to make a difference in your life and your community through volunteering time or donating funds remain.
Coping during camp quarantine
Local nonprofit Recreation Unlimited is considered a magical place where dreams come true for individuals with disabilities and health concerns. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus concerns, its year-round programs in sports, recreation and education came to a screeching halt. In an effort to remain connected with campers and their families, Recreation Unlimited created Camp at Home, featuring activities designed to keep individuals active in body and mind, including coloring pages and DIY science experiments.
Additionally, Recreation Unlimited finalized an agreement with Delaware County to lease cottage space for local first responders should they become exposed to COVID-19 during an emergency response. Fortunately, there has not been a need for use of the facilities, but the foresight and proactive discussions exemplify Recreation Unlimited’s commitment to supporting the community.
Powering through the COVID-19 crisis
Rogue Fitness may be known for its fitness empire, but right now, they’re focused on producing face masks, face shields and air respirators. Producing close to 10,000 shields per day, the company has supplied PPE to OhioHealth, OSU Medical Centers and the United Way. In addition, Rogue is feeding their workforce 500 meals a day by supporting local restaurants and food vendors, and are committed to matching $100,000 in support of Your Local Box. Rogue is also sponsoring $150,000 to Beyond The Whiteboard to allow gym owners to have virtual coaching tools.
We invite you to learn more by clicking here.
Raising spirits in fight against pandemic
In an inventive response to the coronavirus outbreak, Middle West Spirits, founded in 2008, has diverged much of its production of alcohol to produce hand sanitizer for both front line responders and the community at large. Initially launched in partnership with generous grants from The Columbus Foundation, the first 50,000 units of hand sanitizer were allocated free of charge to local EMS and shelters.
While the distillery’s primary efforts remain focused on supporting front line responders, limited quantities of sanitizer are available to the general public for purchase via their online store. Middle West’s distillery has been working 24 hours a day producing ethanol-based hand sanitizer and is working to keep costs low and provide as much support as they can while the need remains.
Working together to keep America moving
Throughout its 140 years in business, the focus of Webster Industries, Inc. has consistently been on American materials, American labor and American pride. An innovative leader in the engineered class chain, sprockets, vibrating conveyor and malleable cast iron markets, Webster Industries implemented the Keep America Moving Program (KAMP) as a way to continue its commitment to safety, product and service excellence while at the same time acknowledging teammates’ grit, teamwork and unwavering commitment to serving others. Notable efforts include:
- Donating over 400 surplus N95 masks to local healthcare providers in need.
- Purchasing a total of $6,700 in gift cards from local foodservice businesses for employee distribution.
- Contributing to the United Ways’ First Call for Help program to support local displaced workers in their time of need.
- Supplying Tiffin City Schools with $5,000 worth of Chrome Books for homeschooling of students that cannot afford the technology.
- Providing 400 washable masks to on-site teammates.
Leaving a mark on communities amid COVID-19
Benchmark Industrial is a diversified industrial distributor servicing the food processing, metal fabrication, distribution and government markets. Their specialization lies within packaging, safety, janitorial and assembly supplies developed over 50 years of providing excellent service. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Benchmark launched Benchmark Shield, a program designed to bring in assistance and relief to our customers and communities.
This program is ongoing and will outlive the current crisis we are facing. But during this COVID-19 crisis, Benchmark Shield will be focused on sourcing and supplying critical supplies to first responders. Learn more here.
Production company turned PPE producer
For 35 years, Mills James Productions has focused on elevating experiences for Fortune 500 companies, startups and nonprofits countrywide, beginning with the producing experience itself. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mills James has used its technology and expertise to produce safety visors to protect Hilliard, OH Police Officers. Using 3D printers to make the shields, they have donated to Ohio’s frontline heroes in an effort to fight the pandemic.
Learn more about how they are contributing to the #InThisTogetherOhio initiative by viewing this video.