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This Facebook Group is Helping Keep Local Businesses Alive During a Pandemic

With the spread of coronavirus happening across the world, businesses everywhere have been forced to either shut their doors or greatly modify their services. One industry which has been affected greatly by the rise of COVID-19 cases, is the restaurant industry.

Dining rooms at restaurants are no longer allowed to stay open which forces customers to choose delivery or take out options only. In order to try to assuage some of the revenue losses businesses face in the Eastern Sierra, Local Real Estate Broker Jake Rasmuson has created a Facebook group called “Bishop Restaurants Offering Take-Out and Delivery.”

The hope is that the Facebook group will encourage people to order takeout in order to keep these businesses afloat.

“Well as a group, we set up so that we can keep the general public abreast of which restaurants are open, who is offering what food, and where for delivery.” Rasmuson said during an interview with KIBS/KBOV News. “It really gives the restaurants a chance to keep moving forward in this time of need.”

So far, the community has responded enthusiastically. This Facebook group was created about a week and a half ago, and it already has over 1,000 people in it.

“You know we are just over a thousand members. The response in our community has been amazing, just the number of people who are offering to help and who are offering to promote other restaurants. I think the biggest part is the local community members who are really trying to support the local restaurants and get up there and patronize the restaurants that are still open,” Rasmuson said.

Though Rasmuson implemented the idea locally, he says he stole the concept from a friend who lives just north of the United States border in Ontario, Canada. He stated, “You know I’ll be honest, another real estate agent friend up in Ontario, Canada, started a group very similar up there. I thought it was a great idea, and frankly, I stole it and got it started for our area. And I would encourage other areas to do the same thing because I really think it provides a great data base for our community to help those local restaurants.”

It’s safe to say none of the local restaurants or his friend care that this plan was not conceptualized by Rasumson.

Local restaurants aren’t the only businesses on board with this group. Jake Rasmuson conveyed that he is working with Bishop Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Tawni Thompson, to get retail businesses included.

“Things have been great.” Rasmuson expressed. “Everybody has really been promoting their businesses and their friend’s businesses. I got an email from Tawni Thompson, so we are going to add several of the local retail shops that are still open that are doing take out or delivery as well, so we are really trying to expand that aspect.”

At this time, Rasmuson is not sure how big of a dent the “Bishop Restaurants Offering Take-Out and Delivery” Facebook group is having when it comes to keeping the lights on for these businesses, but he guesses it is definitely helping. “I would guess that just from a takeout standpoint, their orders have increased. I think really the goal is to supplement the income they are going to lose form having to close down their dining rooms. So, if everybody who has the ability can go out and patronize our great local restaurants, I’m sure the owners and then the employees would absolutely benefit there.”

Not only can an individual order delicious food from a local restaurant, they can also enjoy an alcoholic beverage dropped right on his or her front door.

“I do want to add, I know the state ABC laws have changed slightly due to the temporary restrictions, so I know quite a few of the restaurants have the ability to deliver wine, beer, and mixed drinks. So, if someone is at home and wants dinner and a cocktail, I’m sure that can be set up.”