NEVADA, Iowa — The global pandemic has hit small business hard everywhere. In the town of Nevada there was a double-whammy. The town also had its main street business district closed for reconstruction. To say business were worried, would be accurate.
Marc and Amber Olson are realtors in downtown Nevada. One day they stopped in at Eddie’s Snacktime for a meal. They were discussing the upcoming road project with him.
“I just saw the look in his eye of how concerned he was about his business and about how the construction was going to affect his business,” said Amber. “Then also now Covid hit, so that just added another layer of fear in his eyes and we knew that we had to do something.
So the Olsons launched a new effort called Nevada Strong. It’s a Facebook Community designed to let people know what is going on around town. People’s questions could be answered about who is open when, and what services are available.
“So a lot of people wondering, when is Ben Franklin open, is Snack Time shortening their hours, are they going to be closed right now,” said Amber. “So we thought let’s have one big group that could have all this information so that was kind of what we started and then we thought OK what else can we do to reach out to our community?”
They kept thinking.
“My husband thought of an idea to partner with Ben Franklin, and we ended up reaching out to Ben Franklin and we asked them if we offered to help shop and deliver items,” said Amber. “So we would goin and gather the items at Ben Franklin and go deliver it to the people that had reached out to for our help.
People needed things, like toilet paper. Ben Franklin had plenty.
“Yarn our folks were big on yarn, we have a lot of crafty people,” said Sheila Smith, the longtime Manager of Ben Franklin. “Sidewalk chalk, children’s things, to keep children busy that was a huge one.”
The Nevada Strong group also reached out to make sure the Easter Bunny got around to see all the kids on a Nevada Fire Truck. They also reached out to honor health care workers.
Now the street has reopened and the pandemic is not the crisis it was in March and April.
“Looking at Nevada in general we got a lot of positive things going on last year Burke had their expansion, they’ve offered a lot of employment,” said Marc Olson.
The town also has a new subdivision going in with hopes of more development in Nevada, down the road.
The couple is hoping more area businesses will be using the Nevada Strong Facebook site to help keep people informed as to what’s happening in the community.