Lots of small businesses in the county are on the brink of collapse due to COVID-19 in Texas. Texas has a lot of at-risk businesses on the line including: clothing, general merchandise stores, arts, entertainment, recreation, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, florists and more.

It’s a known fact small businesses are the backbone of any economy. We need to keep the Texas economy strong by getting these businesses back open as soon as possible. Not only are they important for the stability of our community but they are paramount in keeping the state’s economy thriving. They bring in a lot of tax revenue locally and statewide to assist in keeping important services up and running to keep us safe – police departments, fire departments, ambulance services and more.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of a community. Just look at any community – when small businesses thrive, we do too.

Did you know small businesses employ nearly half of the American workforce and generate 43-percent of the country’s GDP? Can you believe that?

I am on social media every day and night, pleading with people to go out and support local small businesses. It’s a beautiful time of the year to go to the square and eat lunch, buy some ice cream, put a piece of furniture on layaway, buy some new clothing, get that antique you’ve been wanting, visit a local pawn shop, rent a movie, order dinner from a mom and pop restaurant, etc. Just be urgent and diligent so we can keep our city and county strong and growing. Most of these businesses have to-go options and many have started to reopen. These businesses cannot and will not survive without local citizens supporting them.

Remember all the times these small businesses opted to support your child’s baseball team, basketball team, girl scout troop, band student or football player? Their support is endless. Don’t you think it’s time to return the favor and support them now, in their time of need?

Remember to support the businesses that advertise on KBEC 1390 and in your local newspaper. Without advertisers, those businesses wouldn’t exist either. It is proven that a community, without a community newspaper, will not continue to thrive – and can even go into strong economic decline. The newspaper and the radio station bring local news and information about the people, places, events and things that make this community the one you choose to live in and to be a vibrant part of but, without advertisers, these two streams of information would stop. Where then would you find information about your local council members, sports news, local events and award ceremonies, just to name a few? Without the support of local citizens, your local businesses cannot afford to advertise and support these news outlets.

This pandemic is new to all of us but I am so glad that, early on, Ginger and I made the commitment to call in two meals a day, five days a week from locally owned restaurants and businesses all over Ellis County. We don’t have the cash money to do that; thank the Lord for credit cards when you need them. A friend told us we simply could not afford to do that every day and we said we can’t afford not to do it.

If you want your favorite restaurant to reopen so you can get the hamburger, pizza, Mexican food, sushi or whatever it is you crave, you need to begin supporting them now or many of them may not reopen when the time comes. Heck, pick up some street tacos, buy a snow cone or a smoothie, grab a cookie – something to support these small local businesses.

The government has already predicted 30- to 35-percent of small businesses nationwide will not be reopening. Let’s prove to the powers that be that we are Ellis County strong, that our county is a wonderful place to live, work and play and that we, as a county, will not become a statistic.

We are already seeing iconic businesses in the area close. The Highland Park Cafeteria will not reopen after 97 years in business and their family recipes have been locked in a vault and may not ever be used again. David’s Sea Food in Cedar Hill cannot afford to reopen after 14 great years. This is just a few; my list could go on and on.

When this economy was shut down due to the pandemic, it was like someone threw a rock into the middle of a pond and we are just now starting to see the ripple effect it’s had on small businesses. If we don’t all get out and make a difference, it is going to get a lot worse.

I would urge every citizen of the county, who can, to make a new commitment to support our local small businesses. These same businesses have always tried to answer the call when our community needed us and, now, we all need you!

Small businesses across our entire county have been feeling the stress of this catastrophic pandemic, including our small business. Right now, these small businesses are fighting the “test of time” and, for many, time has already run out or is rapidly creeping up on them.

I know, speaking for Ginger and myself, the main thing that has kept us going is our faith. Every day we ask God for His wisdom and knowledge. We ask Him to lead and guide us and to speak to our hearts when it comes to making serious business decisions. We also pray that God will open the window of heaven and pour out a blessing on all self-employed people in our county, state and nation.

I also think it’s equally important to pray for our county judge and commissioners as well as our mayor, David Hill, and our city council. They have had to make some extremely tough decisions and they are never going to make everyone happy but, I truly believe in my heart, they care about all of us and have tried very hard to use common sense in their solutions.

Please pray for our city and county leaders on a daily basis; this is all new to them, too.

Greg Compton Sr. serves as president of Compton’s Cleaning and Restoration, a small business serving Ellis County for nearly 30 years.

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