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    Breaking News: Easter egg event Saturday cancelled

    A time to help

    The reviews are coming in for Neighbors Helping Neighbors — and the word is getting out about the help locally owned businesses are receiving.

     “It is a great thing,” Jimmy Sanders of Heavenly Hogs BBQ said. “We just want to thank The Journal for helping us advertise, keeping our business rolling.”

    At Jenuine Flair, Jennifer Owen had this to say about Neighbors Helping Neighbors: “I hope it will help people see me who are not sure I exist. If you haven’t been here, give me a try. The people who come here love it and come back.”

    “I’ve been open for two years,” Dr. Karen McCurley of Balanced Life Wellness said. “A lot of people don’t know that I’m here. So, the advantage for me is that I’m able to get into the paper and actually get some of the message out that we are here. I also get to root for other colleagues down the road.”

    Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a partnership between The Journal and the community to help locally owned small businesses. Local residents are donating to the program, and The Journal is matching those donations dollar-for-dollar at no cost to the businesses.

    “The need is out there, obviously,” said Hal Welch, general manager of The Journal. “If you look at the list of people who are in the program, it’s a pretty random sample of people who have advertised with us and people who have never advertised with us. That tells me that the people who advertise with us know that they need it, but they need more than they can physically pay for. The folks who have probably never thought that they needed to advertise realize right now they need it more than they ever have.”

    Local businesses of all kinds are getting their name out there, and that means they have a chance to not only reconnect with their old customers, but attract new ones when most businesses are still recovering from the pandemic shutdown.

    Why is that important?

    Because Heavenly Hogs BBQ, Jenuine Flair, Balanced Life Wellness and the 42 other local businesses that have signed up for Neighbors Helping Neighbors all have two things in common: They are unique to this community, and if they were to fail, Oconee County and its citizens would be worse off. It’s one thing to shop online or 50 miles away because you choose to, and quite another because you have to. We need our locally owned businesses to survive.

    Neighbors Helping Neighbors now needs more community donations to fully fund the marketing and promotion for its 45 participating businesses. It’s a good deal designed to help these one-of-a-kind local businesses survive.