9 new Liberty Center businesses celebrate their openings during the pandemic

Delayed earlier this year by the coronavirus pandemic, Friday saw owners and representatives of nine businesses opened in the Liberty Center finally get their ribbon-cutting celebrations courtesy of a group celebrations put on the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance. The business were part of a ribbon-cutting blitz at their Liberty Center location, say chamber officials. (Provided Photo\Journal-News.
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Delayed earlier this year by the coronavirus pandemic, Friday saw owners and representatives of nine businesses opened in the Liberty Center finally get their ribbon-cutting celebrations courtesy of a group celebrations put on the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance. The business were part of a ribbon-cutting blitz at their Liberty Center location, say chamber officials. (Provided Photo\Journal-News.

Nine retail outlets and services defied odds by opening during pandemic.

Opening and maintaining a small business in the best of times is hard.

Doing it during a historic global pandemic? Even harder.

But nine Liberty Center businesses, which opened in the last year during the coronavirus, celebrated Friday — and for good reason as their retail outlets and services are bucking the odds in some of the worst of times.

They were honored with an unusual “blitz” of ribbon-cutting ceremonies in front of each store courtesy of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance.

“Small businesses have shaped the business world as we know it today. It’s the engine that drives our economy, and local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” said Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the Chamber Alliance, which serves the adjacent townships.

Small businesses like the nine honored Friday “provide opportunities for many local workers and the money that is earned stays in our community and they’re a big part of the ecosystem that is Liberty Center,” said Hinson.

But the unusual event also sends an important message to the public, he said.

“Liberty Township is open for business and we look forward to joining the celebration.”

The nine new businesses are: Cinnabon; Cassington Hair & Co.; AKT Fitness; Pen + Nash Co.; Lil Cuppa Tea; Scarlett Grace; Willow’s Home & Gifts; McK’s BBQ and Sugar Loft II.

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Yasmen Brown-Jones, director of membership development for the chamber, said in a released statement the pandemic’s presence earlier this year did not allow for the usual ribbon-cutting ceremonies for each business as it opened.

“The recent pandemic caused our organizations to operate a little differently too. As such, we did not have the chance to celebrate your opening in-person and gathering restrictions limited our ability to invite you to community events to help you network and meet other small business owners,” said Brown-Jones.

“As mandates are lifted, businesses are re-setting to a new post-pandemic normal and consumer confidence returns,” she said.

Caroline McKinney, spokeswoman for Liberty Twp., said “the township is excited to partner with the Chamber and Liberty Center teams to help welcome these new tenants to our community.”

“The courage and flexibility these tenants showed in opening their doors in the middle of a pandemic is something to recognize and celebrate. We value the investment these businesses are making in Liberty Township and wish them much success,” said McKinney.