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Vermillion relies on creativity during pandemic

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:15 PM CST
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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For college towns like Vermillion, the absence of students is felt during a pandemic; however, it might lead to future improvements down the road. Vermillion area leaders exercised a few different ideas to keep the economy going. One of those methods, the Vermillion Victory Bonds which lead individuals to a website to purchase gift cards for multiple businesses around the community and have them delivered in the mail. The Vermillion Victory Bonds also provided 20% off for participating businesses which the president and CEO of the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company touted during the unfamiliar months.

“It has also allowed us a format where we could help promote to support your businesses and rally everyone around,” president and CEO Nate Welch said.

Welch highlighted a few moments throughout 2020 that showed community support during the pandemic. Bar owners began closing down earlier to avoid their ideal peak times because of their willingness to limit the spread of coronavirus. By closing down collectively at 10:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, they felt they could minimize the spread. When students returned in August and coronavirus numbers increased, Welch says students took it upon themselves to limit the spread, take things seriously, and decrease active cases in Clay County and the surrounding areas.

Area leaders are not circling the calendar for specific events in the near future, but they are optimistic that they can continue socially distanced events. Welch says it has actually been a benefit because adjustments are realistic and still allow for some events. He says a specific date to return to normal remains ambiguous, but the new formats have made that acceptable.

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