New Campaign Aims to Connect Inns Across the US Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Concerns — Here's How (Video)
"Now is the time to come together in a show of resilience and camaraderie..."
More than 100 small inns and bed and breakfasts across the country have teamed up to support one another as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on small businesses.
In a new campaign, named Still Inn Business, owners of hotels that have either closed their doors or have remained open are invited to use multiple digital platforms including dedicated Facebook, and Twitter accounts as well as the organization's website to connect and assist in prep for when business as usual eventually returns.
“There’s a lot of focus on the impact of COVID-19 on big hotel chains but independent lodging can get overlooked. Now is the time to come together in a show of resilience and camaraderie and do what small business does best — hustle,” Maria Coder, a spokeswoman for the campaign, told Travel + Leisure. “The financial impact of this pandemic has been devastating. The goal of this campaign is to look forward, stay ready, and above everything else, to keep our chins up.”
Amanda Zaslow, the co-owner of The Villa at Saugerties in Saugerties, N.Y., said in a statement that her inn’s normal refund policies have been put “on the back burner” for now and added that “the hardest part of our current situation is high anxiety.”
“We are a young business, and have spent our first few years building a roster of incredible guests, and now we are trying to find our way in unchartered waters," Zaslow added. “We are trying to be positive, and our guests have been unbelievably kind and supportive, but like many B&Bs throughout the country, we have had to temporarily close our doors in order to protect ourselves and the community.”
For inns that haven’t closed, campaign organizers said in their statement they have had to adopt extraordinary measures like cleaning shower curtains after each stay, serving breakfast bedside, and running dishwashers twice for each load.
Organizers noted in the statement the goal is to promote “digitally ‘un-distancing.’”
“Now is the time to support one another and to act for later,” Kathleen Panek, who owns the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in Shinnston, W. Va., said in the statement.
This initiative comes as thousands of hotels have banded together to offer up their rooms as temporary housing for healthcare workers on the front lines and Airbnb works to provide free housing to 100,000 first responders and healthcare workers around the world.