Silver City MainStreet is acknowledging downtown businesses that have persevered during the COVID pandemic with Downtown Silver City Strong awards. The awards are a way to say thank you to businesses that have worked hard to stay open and find new and creative ways to operate. Silver City MainStreet is grateful that they are located downtown.
Thanks to a generous donor, Silver City MainStreet is able to give each business owner an award plaque. The latest recipients are The Lotus Center, a non-profit, and the Silver City Food Co-op.
In response to the pandemic, in June of 2020, the Lotus Center began live streaming their yoga, movement, and meditation classes.
"While preparing for our new web-based mode of delivering classes, our learning was very steep," said Jeff Goin, Lotus Center's founder and director. We had to educate ourselves on lighting, microphones, cameras, and a new computer program that enables us to offer high-quality, secure classes to our community. Although our knowledge of these technologies was practically zero, we have friends who are knowledgeable in these areas. Their support has been indispensable.
In late September, Lotus Center collaborated with their next door neighbor, Light Art Space to offer outdoor, in-person yoga and Qigong classes on Light Art Space's back patio.
While Lotus' live stream classes are high quality and have been well received, the online world is not everyone's cup of tea, Goin says. As such, the outdoor classes offer a nice alternative to our live stream offerings.
Lotus Center received a grant from the United Way of Southwest New Mexico to purchase propane patio heaters. With these heaters, the organization hopes to continue the outdoor classes for as long as possible, winter weather permitting.
Like most Silver City businesses, our revenue stream took a hit with the arrival of the virus, Goin says. However, the response from our supporters has been overwhelming and humbling. Lotus' donations through Give Grandly in May were almost double that of the previous year. Ongoing donations since that time have also been up. Quite frankly, we feel not only supported by the community, but protected too. I'm confident that we're going to be just fine.
Our students miss coming to Lotus Center, and we miss seeing them, Goin says. At the same time, most folks who give our online classes a try really seem to enjoy and benefit from them. Now more than ever people need the stress release and physical benefits that comes from yoga and meditation. I can't appeal strongly enough to folks to make personal care a priority, whether it's through our classes or offerings by other organizations."
Lotus Center will be open to the public on the first three Saturdays in December for holiday shopping. Available for purchase will be gift certificates, locally-produced greeting cards and t-shirts, and custom tiles by Syzygy, which feature the organization's logo, a lotus blossom. The hours of the open house are 11:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The Silver City Food Co-op as an essential business had to pivot immediately as the seriousness of the pandemic became evident. They installed sneeze guards at the registers, limit the numbers of shoppers to 8 at a time, and they wipe down the baskets after each use.
The Co-op asks for patience from their customers and to please make a list before coming to shop. With only eight people being able to shop at a time, people are waiting outside in the cold to get in. If you are organized, you can shop faster. Please also send one shopper per household, please leave the kids home, and with a shopping list, you can get in and out fairly quickly.
This holiday season, please remember all the small businesses and support those working so hard to keep downtown and Silver City diverse and vibrant.
Please take all health and safety precautions for yourself and others in our community by wearing a mask and social distancing. Our community health as a whole depends on working together, and small businesses are the lifeblood of the Downtown Silver City economy. We want to make sure they continue to stay successful while maintaining appropriate public health safety measures.
The mission of Silver City MainStreet is "To encourage a vibrant, historic downtown Silver City which is recognized as the heart of our diverse community." Please visit our website, www.silvercitymainstreet.com to learn more.