Business Shows Why Taking Care of Its Own Is Critical During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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The Markets at Hanover: Part Commerce, Part Social Responsibility, Under One Roof

While some grocery stores are experiencing food shortages, that is not the case for The Markets at Hanover.

The Markets at Hanover celebrated its grand opening on February 21, 2014. A year-round 52,000 square feet indoor farmer’s market, in Hanover, PA, co-owners Joe Silbaugh, and his daughter, Liz, saw The Markets as more than a place of commerce. For them, it was also a community resource and vehicle for small businesses to thrive. Today, restaurants, food markets, as well as arts, crafts, and clothing vendors are among its tenants. In the wake of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf ordered non-essential businesses close, leaving food merchants as the only tenants permitted to sell in The Markets until recently when he lifted the ban.

Liz, a small business advocate, knows the financial impact a crisis can have on a small business and is supporting her tenants in weathering the storm. For those businesses now open, they are strong and fit to compete. While some grocery stores are experiencing food shortages, that is not the case for The Markets. One of its merchants, Stoney Point Farm Market, slaughters their own meat, sourced locally, and offering diverse selections. Fresh produce goes from farmer to The Markets, making prices affordable.

Yet Liz recognized early that fear and social distancing could impact customer comfort. She took proactive steps, creating a customer handout that includes safety measures. Liz also hired a company that uses an electrostatic sprayer device to sanitize and clean internal areas with a non-toxic disinfectant. Should they not desire to come inside, customers can call ahead for curbside, have local delivery, choose take out options, or select boxed meals with cook your own dinner ideas. Face masks are required for all who enter the building. Hand washing stations are present. The plan is working well.

The plan also considered ways to support The Markets’ non-food vendors when the governor’s ban was in effect. Liz sent them links, including filing procedures for self-employment and unemployment. She also promoted what vendors were doing in service to the community while waiting to return to their businesses at The Markets. Pat Emlet, owner of Pat’s Sewing & Corner Cupboard Treasures, and Sherri Keller, who owns Ikkas Creative Treasures, are two of those vendors.

Now in her sixth year at The Markets, being there has brought Pat many customers who love the unique gift items she creates. Pat, a breast cancer survivor, feels it is important to have a giving heart. During time away from The Markets, she made face masks for protection against the coronavirus. She donated them to anyone upon request, including TrueNorth Wellness, a nonprofit organization. Hanover Nissan recognized Pat’s generosity for donating 50+ masks to their employees.

Sherri runs a large fundraiser for the local Make A Wish Chapter. She was unable to hold the event this year because of social distancing. Sherri feels The Markets’ owners are an amazing family with strong ethics and an investment in the community. She decided to make face masks when a friend who is an ER nurse posted the need. She made some and donated them to the hospital and local ambulance services. Her intention was to give the masks away, however, teamed with The Markets to sell them with a percentage going to the Make A Wish Foundation. She felt this was a way to keep people safe and raise funds for the kids.

These are just two small business owners who contribute to The Markets at Hanover’s unique appeal among customers in Hanover and surrounding areas. Learn about others by visiting The Markets at Hanover’s website, For media interviews, contact Patricia Green at 301-526-1089. To find out about merchant or vendor opportunities, contact Liz Silbaugh Johnides at 717-460-3637.

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Patricia Green
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