In recent weeks we have been working under a stark new reality. As we go to print with this issue, the domino effects of our shelter-in-place mandate are beginning to be felt. Businesses that were forced to close and individuals who’ve lost their jobs are feeling the threat to their livelihoods. The federal response, though welcome, has been neither quick nor adequate. All of us face the existential threat of contracting the virus, and our predicament is magnified by the fact that we don’t know when it will end.
I could not have imagined in January 2020 that our new ticketing service, 309Tix, would come to such a sudden halt. I could not have believed that our staff would be working remotely, or that we would have to reinvent many of our longstanding programs. But, like many of you, after the initial shock and denial, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
I’ve always said one of the positive aspects of owning a small business is that we can “move on a dime.” Being open to new ideas, learning new skills and new ways of operating, and adapting to change are necessary to stay in business. But change is never easy.
Like all of us, the nonprofit organizations featured in this issue and in our annual Community Impact Guide have made significant changes to their daily operations. Because they are unable to host in-person events, fundraising has become much more challenging. And with so many on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s edition is even more poignant.
We are so grateful for all of our human service workers and healthcare heroes who are going to work every day and meeting the critical needs of our community. We salute each and every one of you!
You will see some changes in this issue—there is no calendar page, and our social scenes have become “social distancing scenes.” You’ll notice plenty of masks and mentions of the pandemic. But we are also trying to maintain some amount of consistency and routine in our work. We continue to publish as scheduled—and we remain focused on celebrating the best Greater Peoria has to offer.
Please email us, comment on our social media posts, and keep us posted on your latest developments. Do you have a story to tell, or a vision for what lies ahead? Send your suggestions to [email protected]. We appreciate hearing from you. #PositiveOnPeoria PM