It's been only weeks since Sandy hit our town of Guilford, and in honor of Small Business Saturday this coming weekend, Guilford Patch talks to Page's Hardware, a small business institution here in town, about their Sandy experience. Andrew Page sat down with Guilford Patch to reflect on the countless preparations they made as Sandy approached, and how they handled residents' needs as many were left without power.
"We've been through this experience a few times now, particularly with Irene last year; so we knew there were certain things we needed to have on hand," said Andrew Page. "We've developed a 'master list' of sorts, with all of the items we know are in high demand, and we worked off of that this time around."
As with with any business, Page's had to contend with relying on distribution centers to receive their requested products. "Our distributions centers were overwhelmed, naturally, so we made sure to put in our orders early," said Page. "But we still had a little waiting to do, but we just rolled with it."
After making plenty of supplies available pre-Sandy, as the storm rolled into town, Page's closed Monday evening of the storm to allow their employees to return home safely.
"We were here the next morning, Tuesday, around 6:30 AM to open for our customers," said Page. "We were on generator power at the time, the same one we had purchased in preparation for Irene last year."
"Our two spaces are one two different circuits," Page continued. "And one got power back before the other, so we relied on the generator for a bit of time."
Page also thought customers were well prepared after enduring Irene last year. "Folks were much more well prepared after handling Irene, at least from what we saw," said Page. "People learned their lessons and knew what supplies they needed."
The store was packed for many days, and consistently busy with a flow of traffic for many others. As a small business, Page's Hardware felt a true sense of commitment when weathering this storm. "This is our hometown," said Page. "These are our neighbors, friends, customers, and we're supposed to be here. We have a moral obligation to support our community here in Guilford, and I think that we did that."