Hollis Brookline Student Council “adopts” local businesses


Hollis Brookline senior Josh Parr ‘21 supports local businesses by visiting The Alamo BBQ & Tequila Bar in Brookline, NH.

Sean Tisa, Staff Writer

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has practically brought the world to a stand still, and nobody has felt the impacts as directly as local business owners. So when Sam Shepard, class of 2022, proposed a project to help uplift these small mom-and-pop shops, the HBHS student council embraced it with open arms.


The aptly-named “Adopt a Business” project ran for the third school week of February  15-19, and classes competed to achieve the most visits at their class’ chosen business. Student Body Vice President, Sam Shepard ‘22, was the person responsible for putting this project in motion. “The idea basically just came from thinking about how much coronavirus has taken a toll on small businesses, and I wanted to think of a way that we could help uplift some of the ones in our area,” said Shepard.


Student council members voted on which local businesses would be included as a part of the project, ultimately deciding on Pure Foods, Chrysanthi’s Restaurant and The Alamo in Brookline, as well as Culture, a newly opened bakery located in Milford. Shepard said that the setup was a breeze, saying “Setting up the project went smoothly. All the businesses were really easy to work with and open to the idea, so it was great.” With the plan in motion, students were able to easily support their class for the then-upcoming spirit week, and give back to the local businesses which were gravely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


Students may have been interested in the delicious foods that each restaurant offers, but members of the student council were more focused on giving back to those who were impacted by the pandemic. “This year has been really tough on small businesses, so we thought this would be a fun way for the different grades to get involved for Spirit Week while also helping out some of these community-run businesses,” said Senior Class Advisor Christina Ellis.


And it’s true, many small businesses suffered under the hold of the coronavirus pandemic this year. In fact, in a survey of over 5,800 small businesses nationwide, nearly 50% of those surveyed  had closed indefinitely by the end of March 2020. Moreover, many of those who remained open suffered from having insufficient cash on hand, making it difficult to continue operation. These factors, coupled with the decreased amount of customers due to the ongoing pandemic, made times tough for many small businesses.


The businesses appreciated the help, too. Senior Class Representative, Annie Hazelton ‘21, was the chief point of contact for Pure Foods, the business chosen by the senior class. “The restaurants were excited to participate and bring attention and business to their restaurant because it was at no cost to them. They were all very happy to be selected,” said Hazelton.


Not only did the “Adopt a Business” project lend a helping hand to businesses in need, it helped raise school spirit for the then-upcoming spirit week. The competition between classes was fierce, with the final tallies being within two points of each other. “I’d love to see this tradition continue in later years. We’ve always done Penny Wars as a [spirit week activity] to raise charity for local causes, but this was another easy and fun way to get kids involved and help out the community,” said Senior Class Advisor Ellis.


Next time you’re in the area, be sure to give these local businesses a try!