By on April 16, 2020

It’s easy to feel alone during this pandemic.

As we responsibly socially isolate, it can feel like ages since we interacted with another human outside of our family. Luckily, in Culpeper, we’ve seen our business community stay connected and active in helping those that need it.

While the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce office is closed to the public, we are still working behind the scenes to help coordinate efforts of our businesses to better Culpeper.

We’ve seen numerous examples in the past few weeks – from local businesses buying meals for health care providers and first responders to manufacturers changing their output to help address shortfalls in the supply chain.

As everyone becomes keenly aware of cleanliness, shelves have become bare when it comes to hand sanitizer. That’s where Belmont Distillery and Old House Distillery have stepped up – changing their product from spirits to spritzers. They’ve both started producing hand sanitizer and have worked with local organizations to distribute it to health care providers, food banks, churches and other service organizations.

Culpeper County Public School’s have worked with our local E911 to provide the electrostatic cleaners they use in classrooms and buses to help sanitize emergency vehicles. CCPS has also been operating a childcare program at Farmington Elementary School for children of those who are working in critical infrastructure. While they are providing breakfast, lunch and a snack to those students, their workers need sustenance as well. That’s where businesses such as the Ole Country Store, Jersey Mike’s and Domino’s have come into play – providing lunch for the workers and bringing a smile to their face.

We’ve also heard of local businesses banding together to start the Culpeper COVID Mask Operation, a project on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/543548279872759/) that is creating masks for those at high risk in the community.

At the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, we’ve also been hosting weekly town halls to keep our members informed of the issues they face during this crisis. Last week we hosted Dave Reardon from the Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center in Culpeper, Chris Pearson from YHB, CPAs and Consultants and Marty Bywaters-Baldwin from Rappahannock Goodwill Industries to discuss the payroll protection program, loans available to small businesses and unemployment benefits.

This Thursday at 1 p.m. (April 16), we will host healthcare professionals from Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center, Community STARS, Wellspring Health Services and Hospice of the Piedmont to discuss best practices for staying healthy, telemedicine opportunities and challenges the healthcare profession faces during this trying time.

It can feel lonely at times during this crisis, but rest assured that Culpeper is a loving, caring, giving community that is taking care of each other. Despite being distanced, we’ve never felt so close. We encourage you to reach out to Culpeper Chamber of Commerce to share the positive things you are seeing in our community or to find ways to stay connected during this pandemic. Together, we will come out stronger.