ANDERSON – In the wake of a pandemic that left virtually no aspect of life in Madison County unaffected, the local business community demonstrated a resilience that will make it stronger for years to come.

That was a common theme speakers at Thursday’s Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce Corporate Luncheon touched on while expressing appreciation for the organization’s sponsors at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

“I think because of COVID, it’s brought everybody closer,” said Lisa Anderson, a Black Chamber member who owns an automobile financing business. I know I’m getting a lot of business from people who have noticed…dealers are working, people in the community are coming closer together.

“People used to kind of try to stay separated and be more competitive,” she added, “but everybody’s coming together now. Everyone seems to be coming together.”

Speakers, including Anderson Mayor Tom Broderick, lauded the area’s Black-owned businesses for their perseverance and innovation during the pandemic. Participants in a chamber-sponsored workshop in April were also recognized.

“It’s been difficult, challenging,” said Betty Williams, public relations director for the Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce. “But we’re so glad that our sponsors were able to give us support to help these businesses to succeed and to get started.”

Anderson said that even as pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease, consumers are likely to be understandably hesitant about patronizing some establishments. With vaccination rates slowing and fears connected to the disease’s Delta variant becoming more prevalent, she said, there are still challenges ahead for many local businesses.

“People aren’t wearing masks, some are, some are very angry because they’re not,” Anderson said. “It’s the same issues that everyone has seen. People are really leery, still, of there being more than 10, 15 people in a building. That’s what I’ve run into quite a bit.”

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.

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