Record editorial: Park City businesses will need local support as they face a challenging summer
Though so much regarding the coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect Summit County in the months ahead remains unknown, one thing has started to become apparent: The damage it has wrought on the Park City-area economy will not disappear as quickly as it arrived.
On Wednesday, organizers of the Park Silly Sunday Market announced the weekly event will not be held this year due to concerns about the virus, dealing a blow to the vendors that had hoped to participate and the surrounding businesses that cater to the tens of thousands of people who travel to Main Street to attend the open-air market throughout the summer. The news followed the cancellation earlier in the month of the Tour of Utah bicycle race, another summertime event that draws a large crowd to the Main Street core.
The announcements are two of the most concrete indications yet that it will not be a typical summer for local businesses — even if the immediate threat of the coronavirus outbreak subsides and economic restrictions are significantly loosened in the coming months.
Businesses, it seems, may not be able to count on as large of a rebound as they had hoped in the summer, a stretch typically buoyed by events like the Silly Market and an influx of out-of-state travelers visiting for corporate retreats.
In that event, businesses will be relying more than ever on the backing of Parkites. And Parkites should answer the call: Those who have money to spend this summer — many, unfortunately, will be grappling with their own financial uncertainty — should look to spend it in the community, bolstering local establishments and, in turn, supporting local jobs.
By giving businesses a helping hand, Parkites will ensure the restaurants, shops and other establishments they love will still be around for years, or decades, to come.
Understanding that it’s locals who will help them through a challenging time, businesses ought to return the favor, fostering a sense of community spirit by offering local value — like many already do during the shoulder seasons — that rewards Parkites for shopping and dining local.
The pandemic won’t last forever. Neither will the economic challenges that accompany it. But for now, it seems businesses could be fighting a swift current for the foreseeable future. Reaching the end of the crisis and getting our economy back on stable footing will be a lot easier, though, if everyone is willing to pitch in and row in the same direction.
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