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From hemp to hand sanitizer: How a Windsor business is restructuring

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(WBNG) -- Due to the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses everywhere are taking a hit.

Some are being forced to close their doors temporarily, while others are restructuring their businesses, like People Grow Together based in Windsor.

Daniel Mastey and Jennifer Morabito started a hemp farm in Broome County, jumping in on the booming industry in the Southern Tier.

To stand out from the competition, they created People Grow Together, selling CBD and hemp-based products.

"If we can control the quality all the way from seed to bottle, we were able to control our own future," said co-owner Daniel Mastey.

When the coronavirus made its way to our area, People Grow Together was able to change its business plans.

"Being small we were really able to communicate and interact with the people we were selling to and it gave us the input to see what we could do going forward," said Mastey.

It came up with the idea to create hand sanitizer.

"We were sitting on half a barrel of alcohol and a lot of essential oils which we use to craft and blend our salves and creams," said Mastey.

Sanitizer has been flying off the shelves in recent weeks, a product that wouldn't just help People Grow Together survive, but one that would help the community.

"That also goes along with our mission, to provide a quality product that's needed, that helps our customers, our communities, our families," said co-owner Morabito.

While restructuring the business wasn't always in the plan, Mastey and Morabito have some advice for other small businesses who may be struggling during this time.

"Adaptation definitely helps. Being flexible. We're not stuck in a box," said the co-owners.

People Grow Together plans to continue production of its hand sanitizer even when the pandemic ends.

It hopes to grow within the community, working with both cities and schools.

For more information on how to contact People Grow Together and its products, click here.

Annie Flaherty

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