Last month, heavy rains and snow melt resulted in dangerously high river levels. Although the river never reached the predicted 46 feet in Downtown Marietta, many local residents and businesses were affected by the prior weekend’s crest. One of the businesses hit the hardest was Boathouse BBQ, in Harmar Village.

“The Boathouse was forced to close down on Friday 2-18-18 at 1:00 p.m.. We had little time to order containers, trucks and lifts to remove as much property as possible,” said Owner Steve Peters.  “Our efforts were concentrated on evacuation. Not only did we lose sales, but most prepared food items did not survive more then a few days. We lost wages, not to mention damages to the building. And any customers that would have made the trip to visit.”

As soon as the waters began to recede, the community stepped up to help Steve and his team assess damage and start clean up efforts. “The volunteer turn out was great,” said Steve. “We were joined by employees, customers, students, family and a helpful group from the IBEW, to safely disconnect potential dangerous connections.”

Steve and his family were moved by the response. “The number of people helping one another during this crisis was very impressive. Neighbors, friends and students were all walking up and down the streets helping others expecting nothing in return.”

Boathouse BBQ reopened on March 5th after being closed for 17 days for cleanup and repairs. The unfortunate timing prevented the restaurant from participating in this year’s MOV Restaurant Week. “We lost all the products we had ordered in to prepare for this special week,” said Steve. “We were very much looking forward to offering and showcasing gourmet cuisine for this event.”

Although the restaurant is back up and running, being closed for more than two weeks took its toll. Boathouse BBQ and the other businesses that had to close during flooding may no longer need volunteers, but they do ask the community for their continued support.

“Our local businesses do more for our communities then we realize. We create jobs and revenues that stay right here in our area for our roads, schools and neighborhoods,” said Steve. “We participate in fundraising efforts for our children and their activities. We use local services for our businesses. All of our revenues are reinvested locally, and not sent to a corporate office out of town.”

Restaurant Week may be over and Small Business Saturday is still months away – but shopping and supporting local is something we can all embraced on a daily basis, simply by choosing to dine at a local, independently owned restaurant over a chain, or by shopping in our downtown communities before heading to Walmart or the mall. Supporting local business is an investment in the kind of community in which we all want to live.