Treasure Coast business owners improvise during pandemic shutdown
For about a decade, Patty O’Connell has had an informational website for Gumbo Limbo Coastal Chic, her downtown Stuart home accessories shop. But none of the store’s eclectic collection of goods were for sale online. The plan was to eventually gin up the website for e-commerce, but there was no hurry. Most all her customers were loyal locals. All sales were in-store, just as it had been since its opening in 2008.
That was all BC — Before COVID.
O’Connell said she was fortunate to have the website up and running before protective protocols for the virus forced all stores like hers deemed non-essential to shutter from mid-March to early May.
The pandemic came on like a Category 5 hurricane in its ability to shape-shift the landscape for Treasure Coast merchant retailers, just as it has most aspects of life in this memorable year many wish to forget.
The start of e-commerce for Gumbo Limbo was pushed up overnight and sales immediately switched from in-person to order, pay online and then... read more >>
Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy to host bike sale
Youth Guidance student, Paul M. assists customers at Bike Sale.
VERO BEACH — Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy is having a Bike Sale on Saturday, October 31 (Halloween) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Affordable, used and repaired bikes will be sold. By completing the online safety course at BikeWalkIRC.org, customers can get a 10% discount on their purchases. Bikes will be sold on the western side of the building, across from the Vero Beach City Offices. Proceeds will go to Youth Guidance and Bike Walk Indian River County (BWIRC).
On June 1st, Youth Guidance started a student Bike Repair course in partnership with Bike Walk Indian River County. Students selected a discarded or donated bike to repair and keep for themselves. Under the guidance of instructors from Bike Walk, they learned how to fix a chain, change tires, work on brakes and much more.
Phil Barnes, executive director and student, Cheyline B. preparing for the Youth Guidance Bike Sale.
The graduates of the first Bike Repair course are now enrolled in Youth Guidance’s Bike Mechanics program, which involves transforming old bikes into well-oiled machines to sell. Students in the Bike Mechanics course must undergo a formal job interview process and will receive compensation for their work.
Some of the bikes for sale have been repaired by our students in conjunction with experienced instructors. The Bike Repair and Bike Mechanics programs are made possible through the collaborative efforts of Bike Walk Indian River County (BWIRC) and Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks.
“Our teens have worked very hard repairing bikes and are excited for the upcoming sale,” said Phil Barnes, Youth Guidance Executive Director. “We plan on celebrating Halloween as well, so you may see a few costumes.”
If you are interested in learning more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy or making a donation, please call 772.492.3933, or visit our website at www.youthguidanceprogram.org.
BEFORE YOU SIGN THE LEASE Expanding Your Business?
This workshop is to advise prospective and new business owners on the City’s requirements and things to consider when selecting a business location.
If you are in a position, consider a gift to a Treasure Coast nonprofit affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Find the needs of many area nonprofits and how to give at treasurecoastnonprofits.com
As a service to readers and restaurants on the Treasure Coast, Indian River Magazine Inc. has created a website directory of restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries in St. Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties. The site includes hours of operation, if carryout/delivery is available, as well as popular dishes. See the site at treasurecoastrestaurants.com
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• In Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie contact Lisa Crawford at [email protected] or 516.721.0848.
• In Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound contact Marsha Lange at [email protected]