In a recent interview with the Altavista Journal, Campbell County Supervisor Dale Moore (Altavista District) provided words of understanding and encouragement to area business owners and residents as society slowly climbs out of the coronavirus shutdown.
“It’s close to devastated,” Moore said of the local economy. “Many businesses still can’t open yet. To do so safely, [some are] not confident. That’s horrible. I don’t know any business that’s making so much money that they don’t need to be open,” he commiserated.
Moore, a businessman who owns several ventures himself, pointed out, “Our stores in Altavista are making minimal—and I mean minimal—profit. My main concern is employees and customers.” Facing the current reality, he observed, “This is the biggest mess—catastrophe—I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s unbelievable.”
Yet the founder of Moore’s Electric did not get where he is in life by quitting in the face of opposition. When asked what his advice to struggling small business owners would be in this time of economic difficulty, he replied, “I would sit down with them and see what we can figure out. I don’t want to see anybody go out of business.
“I don’t get caught up in why it won’t work, but I always ask, ‘How do we make it work?’ I’m willing to meet with struggling business owners” and help them figure out a solution,” he added.
As for how the coronavirus and its related shutdowns have affected the county government, Moore reported that he hasn’t seen a lot of difference. The biggest difference would be that there isn’t as much direct interaction with the public, particularly meeting in person.
Moore also offered advice to the citizenry. “Stay positive,” he exhorted. “Adopt a thought process of ‘what can I do to make it work?’”
He recognized the struggles that some people are facing. Particularly hard hit are those who work for businesses that have been deemed “non-essential.”
As a measure of what local businesses can do to encourage the public to shop local, he proposed a meeting of local small business owners. “I would like to see as many area merchants as possible get together. We could have a meeting at Virginia Technical Institute” (in Altavista).
Explaining his intent, Moore added, “We need to discuss ‘How can we serve the public?’ If we can exceed the customers’ expectations and not just meet them,” that would draw in more local shopping.
The goal? “Have zero gap between what customers expect and what we deliver. If we can do that, we can grow business back.”