The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Small businesses bouncing back

The+Brazos+Valley+Farmers+Market+will+host+its+summer+kickoff+Saturday%2C+June+6+from+8+a.m.+to+noon+in+Downtown+Bryan.
Photo by Megan Cusick

The Brazos Valley Farmers Market will host its summer kickoff Saturday, June 6 from 8 a.m. to noon in Downtown Bryan.

With Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement on June 3 allowing all businesses to open at a minimum of 50 percent capacity, Bryan-College Station establishments are beginning to work their way toward recovery and a return to normal.
During the shelter-in-place period, many businesses had to alter their services for curbside pick-up or delivery. Those that couldn’t maintain these services shut their doors temporarily, and some remain closed.
Downtown Bryan Association marketing coordinator Abigail Noel said this shutdown was tough on the small businesses of Bryan-College Station, many of which relied on traffic from patrons that suddenly weren’t eating out or shopping local as often due to COVID-19.
“COVID-19 had a significant impact on the small businesses in Downtown Bryan and the entire B-CS community,” Noel said. “Thankfully for small businesses, there were lots of financial assistance opportunities they could apply for to help pay their employees and keep their businesses afloat during this time.”
When Governor Greg Abbott first announced that Texas could begin reopening, Brazos County created the Operation Restart Task Force to provide businesses with tailored procedures that would allow them to begin reopening safely.
In addition to Operation Restart, the cities of Bryan and College Station teamed up with United Way of the Brazos Valley, the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley and the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce to create the Brazos Valley Community Relief Fund. With this fund, businesses and nonprofits in the Bryan-College Station area can apply for financial assistance to help pay rent and employee salaries or to obtain supplies.
The relief fund has granted aid to 114 small businesses and 12 nonprofits, including The Museum of the American G.I. in College Station. Museum secretary and treasurer Leisha Mullins said the aid was beneficial for the museum, which has lost 70 percent of its annual event fundraising and expects 50 percent fewer visitors this summer due to the pandemic.
“The Brazos Valley COVID-19 [Fund] allowed us to continue paying our employees so that we could host an online Living History Weekend as well as improve our social media presence and exhibit work,” Mullins said. “The community has done a great job supporting restaurants. As they start venturing out now, we need them to visit local museums and our local community stores.”
Though social distancing is still encouraged, the Downtown Bryan Association is hosting First Friday on June 5 with a combination of virtual events on Facebook, a Farmer’s Market and in-person shopping at businesses that are open in Downtown Bryan.
“Now that more businesses are allowed to be open, we are expecting a greater turnout for June First Friday,” Noel said. “Now more than ever it is important for the local B-CS community to support our locally owned small businesses.”
And while businesses are opening their doors once more, Noel said they are still making changes to keep patrons and employees safe in this new normal.
“As the state of Texas begins to reopen, businesses are now trying to shift their models again to incorporate social distancing guidelines for customer safety,” Noel said. “This is a challenge that all businesses in the U.S. are faced with at this time and many have come up with some best practices that they are sharing with other small businesses. Each business owner is evaluating what is best for their business, employees and customers and will reopen when they feel ready.”
Small businesses in Bryan-College Station have faced troubling times, but Mullins said now is the time to band together as a community to help local establishments back to economic health.
“This unexpected economic situation has been hard on everyone,” Mullins said. “It is all of our responsibilities to help each other. We need to reassess what we do and why we do and find ways to continue to meet our mission and goals in new ways. Shop and buy local to help as much as possible.”

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