Now is time to step up!

It’s hard enough for businesses to make a living in Custer during the first three months of the year. This is why so many of them shut down for the first quarter of the year. There are no tourists and locals tend to do business elsewhere, like the internet or Rapid City.
We know that all too well. Most of us lose money during January, February and March. Those of us who are open, that is, and that’s not all that many. If we could, we would probably shut down also. But we are a weekly newspaper which means we publish weekly in good months and slow months in order to keep our legal status.
Now we can toss in a dose of this coronavirus and you can see the challenges that we, as a business community, are facing. It will be do or die for many, and that is a real shame. If ever there was a time to support your local businesses, that time is now, because it will be do or die for many. This is no April Fool’s joke.
You will find advertising messages from some of them in this issue of the Chronicle. Restaurants are responding by offering take-out, curb-side and delivery. It’s not the same as sitting down and having a meal with friends, but it will support these restaurants and ensure they are still around when this thing passes. And it will!
The heart of a small town like Custer is its business community. We are the ones that offer so many goods and services and donate to so many local causes. The newspaper promotes local events and reports the news, including schools and sports. School news and sports have been lacking lately because our schools are shut down at least until May 1 by edict of Gov. Kristi Noem. We hope they open soon. So do the students and teachers.
It’s a shame we have to practice social distancing because we humans tend to be social creatures, but this appears to be key to stopping the spread of this deadly virus. No mater what you may think of this virus, it is real and it is affecting people in South Dakota, our nation and the world. It is much more deadly than the flu.
Let’s do all we can to cooperate, stay home and distance ourselves from each other as much as we can. We at the newspaper are operating under reduced hours and working from home whenever we can until this pandemic is over.
And, yes, continue to patronize our local businesses as much as you can during these trying times. We are especially appreciative of businesses that support us. We want all of them to be there once this is over.
Let’s be Custer Strong!

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