By Dave Ongie, News Editor
As the oldest town in Tennessee, Jonesborough has seen its share of challenges over the years. In fact, COVID-19 is hardly the first pandemic to darken the doors of the homes and businesses along the town’s historic Main Street.
While the recent shutdown of commerce due to the coronavirus outbreak has created plenty of hardships for business owners in Jonesborough, citizens are mobilizing to get through this latest challenge the way they always have – together.
“We’re all operating differently, but the fact of the matter is the businesses and the community, we’re all still here for each other,” said Cameo Waters, Tourism and Main Street Director for the Town of Jonesborough. “It just looks different.”
With social distancing measures in place, business owners have been working to find innovative ways to serve their customers in a safe, responsible manner. Waters has marveled at the way curbside pickup, delivery, virtual tours and virtual shopping have emerged as ways for business owners to keep their restaurants and shops up and running.
In fact, Waters said she sees the innovation taking place in Jonesborough as a silver lining of sorts during a dark time.
“The good thing about it is that it’s sparked so much creativity, and I hope that carries through,” she said.
In order to support business owners, the town of Jonesborough has started the “We’re Here for You” initiative to help raise awareness about which businesses are open and what services they are offering. The town’s website – www.jonesborough.com – has been repurposed to provide the most up-to-date information and encourage local folks to get out and support local businesses as they work to weather the storm caused by COVID-19.
“It’s really just a great directory to find that kind of information and even look at some virtual events and tours,” Waters said.