As we begin a new year, we need to pause and thank you–our friends, neighbors, guests, and clients–for the tremendous support you’ve shown our team and our small business during the past year.
2020 was nothing we could have anticipated. In March, without warning we found ourselves in the midst of student move-outs. In a “normal” year, we prepare heavily for move-outs in May, yet we found ourselves having to bump that up by a few months and scramble to help each student who needed assistance to get their items picked up, packed, stored, and shipped as they had to leave town in a rush when campuses closed. When you couldn’t get to us, we went to you, even working with many students and property managers to pack up and ship or store items left behind in abandoned apartments after so many had to leave suddenly. It was quite an experience, yet we powered through and felt good when it all ended that we had done our best to help as many as possible.
As the pandemic spread and we learned more about COVID-19, we did everything we could think of to make our essential business as safe and sanitary a place as we could. Here are some steps we took … and continue to take:
- We instituted cleaning procedures, disinfecting counters, tools, handles, keypads, and other oft-touched surfaces often.
- We created a popular fresh pen protocol, with a container of sanitized pens for our guests to use and another for used pens to be placed in that could then be sanitized afresh for new use.
- We placed social distancing markers on our floor and rearranged as best we could in our small space to allow entrance and exit pathways and space between guests.
- We acquired a new counter to space our clients eight feet from each other when we assist them, and to allow greater space between our team and our guests during a transaction.
- We instituted a mask policy so that our team and those coming into our business could always have their noses and mouths covered when interacting with each other.
- We gave away–and continue to give away–hundreds of cloth face masks–some provided by the City of Ithaca and many made by Marty’s parents–to anyone who needed or could use them. (Marty’s parents, by the way, stopped counting masks they made when they reached 1,000, and continue to sew steadily as they send those homemade face coverings to friends and family across the country; they’re true heroes in our eyes!)
- We posted signs provided by the Tompkins County Health Department on our door, advisements on our bulletin board and website, and created a safety and sanitization plan to have on file.
- We continue to screen each team member when shifts start for temperature and potential exposure to ensure we’re all healthy and happy.
As our hearts have broken for so many of our small business neighbors who have struggled tremendously this past year, we are humbled to have seen a 50% increase in our business during a year that threw more curve balls than we can count. Part of our business increase this past year is due to our unique position in the shipping industry that has been at (and well beyond) peak volume since April, though we acknowledge that the tremendous support and advocacy of our long-time friends and clients has had a lot to do with the fact that we’re standing strong. You’ve stood by us, and we’ll continue to stand by you.
So, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We will continue to stand strong, adapt, pivot, and do whatever we can to meet your secure packaging, mailing, shipping, mail and package receiving, printing, storage, and office service needs. We appreciate all feedback we receive, and continue to be touched deeply by each review that comes to us through Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other platforms.
Here’s to a new year of healing, growth, and community building. Our goal is to do whatever we can to be good neighbors and an asset in our community, and we hope you’ll join us in that aim.
The Team at Uncle Marty’s