Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping.
The following is an update from the Baltimore Museum of Industry on how they are adapting and coping during these times.
How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
Thanks to our great education staff, we were able to pivot rather quickly and adapt several of our activities for “visitors” to use online. Industry-themed word finds, trivia questions, craft projects and such have been created, along with virtual tours of many of our galleries can be found on our website and are all free of charge. We also moved our weekly preschool program, Wee Workers, onto Facebook where each Tuesday, Ms. Gayle, an incredible museum teacher, presents a book and a craft related to a new gallery or industry each week. https://www.thebmi.org/
Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
Soon after the museum closed, we formed a partnership with MedStar Health to allow a COVID19 testing center to be set up in the museum’s ample parking lot. It was an easy way for us to support health care workers and the South Baltimore community. Our annual farmers market will open its 11th season this month. If the museum remains closed in compliance with the Governor’s mandates, and the testing tent is still up, the market will be moved to a location just down the block from the museum. We feel strongly that local farmers and small businesses need our support now more than ever.
What is the status of your employees?
Most of our employees are working from home and we’re able to stay in touch with Zoom and Google meetings. We’ve been very fortunate that to date we have had no layoffs, mainly due to the fact that we entered the crisis in a strong position. Naturally, though, all of our school field trips and private event rentals like weddings have been cancelled, and we postponed our big spring fundraiser until the fall. So like so many other museums and businesses, we are definitely feeling the financial crunch.
How can readers help you get through the crisis?
Buy a membership and visit us when the museum opens back up! https://www.thebmi.org/
How are you coping, personally?
Transitioning to working from home has been a bit of a challenge. Our staff is a very tight knit group and we genuinely miss each other. We miss seeing the kids on field trips having a great time. Spring is the time of year when the museum generates 65 percent of our revenue so to be without visitors is tough financially and emotionally. But the silver lining is that it’s given each of us a chance to be creative, collaborate on new projects internally and connect with counterparts in other Baltimore-area cultural institutions.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Museums offer a rich learning experience even when we’re closed. Aside from the tours and activities mentioned earlier, we are continuing to work on our Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project to help preserve the stories of Baltimore’s proud steel community. We just launched an initiative inviting people to share photos of items in our quest to build a community collection. We’ve had a great response so far! Check it out at https://www.thebmi.org/bethsteellegacy/
Learn more about the Baltimore Museum of Industry by visiting their website or checking out their Facebook Page. Looking to help? Buy a membership, donate and make plans to visit when the museum opens back up!
If you represent a local small business or non-profit and would like to share your update with our readers, contact Nicole Allen at [email protected]. During the crisis, we will offer these sponsored posts for free as a service to the community until May 15.