Hello, everyone! Please join me and @Julia M. Usher for a live chat on Saturday, April 18, 10 am central time (CT). We’re all facing challenges right now that we never would have imagined just a short time ago. I think it's safe to say that each of us could use some support from our Cookie Connection family! So let’s get together in real time to chat and see how our fellow cookiers are doing. What challenges are we facing? How are we adapting our businesses? What solutions have we found? Let’s vent, share ideas, lend support, and encourage one another. We may feel alone, but we’re not!
Background and Preparation: The chat will be text-based as always. But, this time, instead of you asking questions of a featured guest, I'll be asking everyone a series of questions. I would love for all of you to contribute to the discussion. To that end, I'm providing the questions now so that you can give them some thought. If you’d like to prepare further, you could type up your answers in a Word document or in the notes on your mobile phone. Then, during the chat, you can simply copy and paste your prepared answers after each question is posted. This approach should leave you better able to focus on reading others’ responses instead of trying to type your answers quickly. Just one more note: Please number your answers to correspond to each question below. (Numbering will make it much easier for Julia to moderate the chat; that is, to know when and where to post your answers.)
Here are the questions that I will be asking during the live chat:
- What's your name, where do you live, how do you participate in cookies (i.e., as a hobbyist vs. professional; by selling cookies, teaching, and/or designing or selling cookie products?), and how long have you been involved that way in cookies? (Easy peasy, right?!)
- In general, how are you handling the crisis and stay-at-home orders?
- Are you still making cookies?
- If so, are you making cookies in different ways or for different reasons or people?
- If you are in business, what are the most challenging obstacles your business has faced because of the coronavirus pandemic?
- How, if at all, have you adapted your business?
- If you live in the United States and have a business, have you tried to take advantage of any of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and debt relief options that came about via the recently signed CARES Act? If not, why not? If so, what's been your experience so far?
- Has there been any “silver lining” to the pandemic? What is the most positive thing to come out of it so far?
- What lessons have you learned personally or professionally from this experience?
- Do you have any words of encouragement for those of us who are feeling it all – anxiety, fear, helplessness?
Do you have your own questions to ask me, Julia, or the group? That's fine too! The chat room is now open to receive advance questions that will get answered once the chat is live. Just click here to submit those questions now.
I hope to "see" you on Saturday, April 18 at 10 am CT right here on Cookie Connection! Just click on this link at the appointed time! [EDITOR'S NOTE: And, in the meantime, stay safe at home, and wear those masks when you go out! 😘 ~ JMU]