Summit County businesses ‘pay it forward’ for front-line workers and community members
DILLON — Businesses around Summit County are helping to band the community together through various “pay it forward” programs. Despite their own financial woes, businesses are finding ways to give back by donating goods or services to health care workers, donating a portion of proceeds to a local nonprofit, or setting up programs for the community to make donations.
Clint’s Bakery & Coffeehouse in Breckenridge has pledged to donate a baked good to a first responder for every baked good purchased. Bakery owner Laura Komefhian said she was running the promotion for the shop’s first week after reopening and has brought an average of two dozen to three dozen baked goods per day to first responders at Breckenridge fire stations and St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Komefhian said the bakery won’t be able to keep up with that volume of donated goods but will continue to donate any day-old baked goods to first responders.
“We’re just trying to give back — that’s all — like everyone else,” Komefhian said. “We’re just doing what we can. We’re definitely not profiting right now being open. We’re just open for the community and for the staff.”
Carla Pettit, owner of Garden of Eden, has been donating flower arrangements to first responders and front-line workers. She set up a donation page for people to donate funds, which she uses to purchase flowers from wholesalers and get them to about 25 local first responders and front-line workers at their places of work, such as the hospital, grocery stores, police department, food pantries, banks and liquor stores. Pettit said the flowers were able to be placed at different departments throughout the hospital for people to enjoy.
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“We’re trying to bring some flowers and cheers to the people who have had to stay open this whole time,” Pettit said. “We’re just trying to give back to the community just to say thank you. Flowers are things that so many people just don’t get to enjoy too often.”
She noted that this is also helping out the floral supply chain as many flowers have had to be thrown out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pettit said she hopes to keep raising money to provide flowers.
Local businesses also have found creative ways to help out the community at large. Summit Cove property management group launched a program over the weekend called Clean it for a Cause. The program expands the company’s cleaning services to residential and commercial establishments while the company’s lodging properties are closed. Summit Cove is donating half the profits of the effort, which ends June 15, to the Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s food bank.
“With the program, we’re trying to do two things: We’re trying to keep our team employed and do what we can to help out the community, as well,” Summit Cove Marketing Director Alyssa Hubbard said.
Hubbard said some staff, such as front desk employees, have taken on cleaning rolls in addition to housekeeping staff.
To keep staff members safe, Hubbard said they are following health and sanitation protocols such as wearing protective gear and facial coverings and are socially distancing. She said they are trying to work in properties that have been vacant for 24 hours and are doing virtual cost estimates.
“We’re mainly a lodging company and property-management company, but since we’ve had to close that side of the business, we’re just seeing what other services we can provide,” Hubbard said.
Several Summit County breweries also have created their own versions of “pay it forward” programs. Read more about that in Saturday’s Summit Daily News.
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