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In the Highlands

How Local Business Are Adapting to the New Normal

A quiet city street at twilight, lined with cars on either side, brick buildings, and with powerlines overhead

The Alleghany Highlands community has always been known to lift each other up in times of crisis and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been no different. While the hospitality may not look the same as it has in the past, and you can’t see the typical smiles for being covered by masks, resilience and hope remains the common tone for local business owners.

Cakes Your Way

Main Street Covington business, Cakes Your Way, has adapted by offering virtual cake decorating classes and expanding their services outside of the Highlands area. Owner, Theresa McCoy says that the classes have been amazing and a ton of fun to host. While McCoy has no plans of leaving her storefront downtown, she sees the internet side of her business sticking around to make her confections accessible to everyone.

As for her relationship with Highlands Community Bank, Theresa only had great things to say. Both her personal and business banking experiences have been smooth, supportive, and personal.

“Highlands Community Bank has always shown support by purchasing from us. We have a small loan through them, and they have made the process super easy. They have made a point to check in on us several times throughout all of this,” says Theresa.

The Flower Center

For Erin Huffman, owner of The Flower Center in Clifton Forge, sustaining business throughout the pandemic has been all about working together with local business owners and staying connected with her customers.

In addition to teaming up with Cakes Your Way, The Flower Center has continued home deliveries throughout the entirety of the shutdown order. While Huffman and customers have both enjoyed the deliveries, she is looking forward to reopening her storefront and the return of weddings and other group gatherings in phase two.

“I can’t say enough good things about my customers. They have shown their support by ordering things they normally wouldn’t. I have really great customers and I’m blessed that they have shown us love the way that they have,” says Erin.

Erin had nothing but praise for Highlands Community Bank in both her everyday experiences and how they’ve handled the Paycheck Protection Loan process. For The Flower Center, the loan provided a way to keep the lights on and the flower deliveries going.

“Highlands has been phenomenal. I know many business owners who have still not gotten their PPP loan from other banks and I had mine on the first day. They were on top of things,” she adds.

COVID-19 has provided many challenges to overcome, leaving small businesses like Cakes Your Way and The Flower Center searching for creative solutions to keep business going. The two business owners collaborated to deliver cupcakes, cakes, and flower arrangements together, brightening the days of both the recipients and Erin and Theresa as they got to connect with their customers after being apart for so long.

Our local businesses are the backbone of our community and they need our support now more than ever. The team at Highlands Community Bank encourages you to continue to shop small and help big, your neighbors are counting on you!

Have you seen other businesses show incredible resiliency in these tough times? We want to hear about it!

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