By Eric H. Kearney

Eric Kearney. Photo provided

We will get through this, TOGETHER.

Party politics, blame, and the division of our differences are luxuries that will have to wait.

In this unprecedented time, we can only get through this, TOGETHER.

TOGETHER, we will support our small local businesses, now and when we return to our new normal. In this time of uncertainty, we will show our love for our communities and our neighbors. You and I, TOGETHER.

Keantha Brandy is our neighbor. Her grandmother taught her to make cheesecakes. Now, Keantha is the small business owner of Key’s Cheesecakes and Pies. We will show Keantha our support.

Curt Moody is our neighbor. More than 35 years ago, Curt opened an architecture firm, a field that had very little minority representation. We will show Curt and Moody Nolan our support.

Alecia Kintner is our neighbor. Alecia runs ArtsWave, the engine for arts in the Cincinnati Region. ArtsWave funds organizations like Kick Lee’s Cincinnati Music Accelerator, which works to make sure there are no starving artists in Greater Cincinnati. In addition to hundreds more, ArtsWave also supports The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati which educates, engages, and entertains audiences of all ages through diverse theatre productions. We will show Alecia our support.

Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr. is our neighbor. He is the pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church. His congregation, like many others, is finding new and exciting ways to share the Good News. We will show Rev. Lynch our support.

Matt Cuff is our neighbor. He runs a for-profit social enterprise that hires, develops, and trains individuals with barriers to employment. His small business, Just Q’in glorifies and honors God by providing authentic, well-prepared food, while creating a warm and loving environment for all guests, no matter their faith. We will show Matt our support.

Michael “Funky” Forgus is our neighbor. Faith is also the driving force behind Funky’s Catering Events. As weddings and events are postponed, Funky’s is innovating by offering family-style carryout and delivery meals. We will show Michael our support.

Ronald Evans, Jr. is our neighbor. His One Love Unity Apparel is more than t-shirts. They host free lunches, dinners, and music in the park – turning no one away. We will not turn them away. We will show Ronald our support.

Jason Vaughn is our neighbor. He oversees Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants. For our convenience, his team recently added essential items like half gallons of milk, loaves of bread and bags of sugar to their carryout menu. We will show Jason our support.

Britney Ruby Miller is our neighbor. She is the president of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment. Her father, Jeff Ruby, built a restaurant empire in our community. Last week, in what Mr. Ruby called, “the saddest day of his career,” Britney was forced to lay off more than 600 employees. She is working with the Ohio Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association to make certain ALL restaurants benefit from federal assistance. We will show Britney our support.

One should have to wait for repairs to heating and cooling systems. He should not have to wait for our assistance. We will show Kenyatta our support.

The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce supports the work of Governors DeWine and Beshear to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are taking strong measures that will have a devastating impact on our small local businesses, but are necessary to flatten the curve and save lives.

Our businesses, the heartbeat of our communities, cannot survive without our support. Our small local businesses can only get through this if we support them and support each other.

Black and White.
Democrat and Republican.

Rich and poor.
You and I.

We will get through this, TOGETHER.

Eric H. Kearney is the President/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce.

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