For the past year, essential businesses have been society’s lifeblood. They have been giving their all for their community and, really, the entire world. Without them, things would be even worse than they are, and we all owe every worker and company putting their lives on the line an enormous debt of gratitude.
Some heroes are obvious. Case in point: The countless medical workers have been front and center through it all, and every business in that sector — from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and hospice care providers — have been rightfully receiving thanks from us all every single day.
However, other vital businesses are not so quickly identified by everyone. They have flown under the radar — even as their contributions have been invaluable to keeping things running.
Whether heralded widely or not, they are making the world go-’round, and here we must take the time to recognize just a few of the top essential businesses that are helping you and your community today.
1. Postal and Delivery Workers
With a majority of Americans working from home during the past year, we have all been doing one thing: Ordering packages constantly from Amazon and other retailers. Well, all those wonderful new items you’ve enjoyed — especially those new business casual sweatpants — didn’t just fly their way to your door themselves. Postal workers and delivery men and women for companies like FedEx and DHL have been out there in the streets, day in and day out, making sure people get everything they need. Of course, these companies implemented strict safety protocols along the way, but nothing is foolproof — and they all deserve a big round of applause.
2. Food Service Workers and Restaurants
Delivery hasn’t just been about products, as consumers are ordering food via mobile apps like never before as well. Online grocery delivery start-up Instacart, for example, skyrocketed in value soon after the pandemic began, and community restaurants all across the country began sending out orders like never before. Not to mention, a movement to “eat local” gained momentum with those fortunate enough to work from home trying to do their part to keep their favorite chefs and beloved institutions alive — and, in the process, put a nice, fat tip in the pocket of their faithful delivery folk.
3. Plumbers and Home Repair Workers
There are certain emergencies that may not be life or death, but they sure seem like it when something goes wrong. When a pipe bursts, a roof caves in, or a heating system goes bust, this needs to be taken care of immediately. Plumbers, for example, have been proud essential workers and taken these calls every day since things got turned upside down, risking their own health and safety to come to the rescue. With so many people now staying home so often, these essential service providers are in high demand and are always ready to help.
4. Cable Guys and ISP Communications
Working from home has made us all keenly aware of exactly how well our internet is working. With Zoom calls, constant communication needs and downtime reprieves (like Netflix), we simply cannot go without high-level connectivity right now. Fortunately, maintenance of communications infrastructure was deemed essential from the get-go, and these intrepid service providers have been dispatched whenever and wherever downtime occurs. If you’ve had your service upgraded or fixed at any point this past year, you don’t need anyone to tell you just how essential this work has been.
Proudly Essential, Proudly Working for Us All
COVID-19 has had a profound — and likely permanent — effect on so many businesses. Life as we know it was flipped upside down, and it has been the proud frontline and essential workers who have helped hold it all together.
From delivery and food services to plumbers and internet repair people — and so many more unheralded heroes — there have been so many people doing their best out there.
As things hopefully start to move toward normalcy in the next few months, let’s never forget just how much they sacrificed.
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