»News From The Montrose Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce

The Face of COVID-19’s Impact on Small Town America

Courtesy of Stephanie WILEY
Lynn Thatcher Sullivan of Montrose Barber Shop

The Montrose~Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce is grateful to work member Stephanie Wiley Photography for her approval to share her “Personal Photo Project: #SmallBusinessStories Quarantine and Our Local Businesses.”

The photos are daunting: owners of our MVCC businesses and Montrose merchants standing in their empty businesses. Stephanie not only documented the moment of anguish or uncertainty of each of the owners but also part of their perspective and their hope for a positive outcome.

Stephanie shares her intention in her own words “About this Personal Project.”

“In the small town of Montrose, California, the main street and heartbeat of downtown is Honolulu Avenue. It’s been featured in many films and television shows as quintessential small town USA. On my daily walks, when I’d reach Honolulu I was struck by the signs in every closed small business or restaurant. I felt driven to document this time with my camera. My first instinct was to photograph the families and do a ‘porch portrait’ series, at a safe distance, but after giving it more consideration I realized that I should highlight the businesses instead. There are so many local businesses that we as a community want to support, but the truth is that we rarely see the faces behind the businesses. They all have signs in their windows explaining why they’re closed but by now we all know the reasons. They are struggling and I want to do what I can to help give them a voice and make it more personal. I want to support our town.

“If you’d like to support any of these businesses please visit their online shops, buy gift certificates or just give them some love via social media.”

Stephanie Wiley Photography has each of the businesses photographed on her website https://www.stephaniewiley.com/. She also has the NBC Channel 4 news video about this project on the home page.

We at the MVCC, with the permission of Stephanie Wiley, have compiled a link  to the video https://youtu.be/kRq42RRaT_w.

The Montrose Chamber wants our businesses to know that they have our support. We work diligently each day to pore through the city and county directives to provide timely relevant information for our members and community. Although we too have worked from home, we have worked without “business hours” and instead have worked non-stop to answer questions, participate in local legislator and city webinars, meetings and Zooms. As a member, you may receive emails daily, sometimes multiple per day, because we have found the information necessary for the businesses and community. We have remained consistent with our e-blasts that summarize all the weekly and monthly information and resources. And we created the virtual ribbon cutting as our new members also need to be introduced and showcased. You will see two additional virtual ribbon cuttings come your way for June.

We look to the future with great hope because we know the foundation of this community: people care for one another, people are rooted in the area and people not only live here, but work here and thrive here in Montrose.


Victoria Marie Malone, Executive Director

YOUR Montrose~Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce

3436 N. Verdugo Road, Suite 100, Glendale, CA 91208

(818) 249-7171