SOUTHINGTON – B&V Jewelers, despite facing hardships due to the coronavirus, has created a large sign to thank “healthcare heroes” with the help of other local businesses.
B&V Jewelers, located at 76 N. Main St., is owned by Andy Bawa and his family. Bawa said he has had his business in town for five years and he has always felt welcome in town.
“For five years, the community has been very supportive,” he said. “People have been very kind and patient with us. I have had some customers give us clothing and diapers for our children when they were younger. It gave us a good, warm and fuzzy feeling inside.”
In turn, Bawa has given back – supporting local baseball leagues, Bread for Life and the YMCA. He would have been a bronze sponsor for this year’s Apple Harvest Festival before the event was canceled.
Bawa collaborated with local businesses to put a large sign on the side of his building to thank “healthcare heroes.” It went up about two weeks ago in honor of “National Nurse Day.”
“Everyone is going through hardship, but hospital staff and nurses are putting their lives on the line taking care of people,” he said. “They are some of the most under-appreciated people in the workforce.”
Bawa also offers free watch battery changes to firefighters, police, first responders and healthcare workers to show his support.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Bawa has praised Barbara Coleman-Hekeler, director of the Southington Chamber of Commerce whom he said has done an “amazing job” supporting local businesses. He said while he does not like to ask for help, he would certainly appreciate any efforts to help local businesses get back on their feet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Bawa had been unable to open for several months. He only recently reopened with some new limitations in place. He is taking customers by appointment only and letting one customer or couple in at a time. They must also be wearing a mask and must have a valid form of ID to present. Business, he said, has been slow and whenever people try on a piece of jewelry it must be thoroughly cleaned.
“We were closed from March 21 through June 11,” he said. “People have been starting to come back, but luxury items aren’t at the top of the list for a lot of people. Yesterday, we only had three people come in.”
For more information on B&J Jewelers, call 860-276-2097.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.