Leaders at McGeorge Toyota saw COVID-19 coming. So, a few weeks before most of Virginia shut down due to the pandemic, the Henrico dealer had a plan to help.
“We kind of knew what was coming,” says Courtney Taylor, digital marketing manager. “So, we started talking about what will happen with our employees. That grew into a larger conversation about our community. We felt like it was our duty to make sure our community had the little necessities to make sure they can get by.”
McGeorge Toyota donated $20,000 to FeedMore, the area food bank. Taylor says that donation resulted in 80,000 meals.
The dealership also worked with local restaurants to provide 800 meals to medical teams at three area hospitals. And offered 100 pounds of food, cleaning supplies and critical paper goods to several area charities serving underprivileged communities.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Taylor says. “Our typical donation to FeedMore is a few thousand dollars. But Bob Farlow, our general manager, wanted to make sure they have enough to go around. We just wanted to make sure we can take care of as many needs as we can in this community. We’re a reflection of this community, and we want to give back as they’ve given to us.”
Giving back is part of McGeorge Toyota’s DNA, and their community-first philosophy has created a special bond with its customers.
And, like so many other dealers, the COVID-19 crisis has nudged an evolution of business. Online customers are becoming more common, so they implemented a driveway-to-driveway concierge service in which McGeorge employees pick up a vehicle from the customer’s home and return it after service.
For sure, COVID-19 has ushered in a new normal. But Farlow and his team are determined to find the positives.
“When things get back to normal, whatever that is, we anticipate giving even more,” Taylor says. “And some of these new processes that we’ve started are here to stay.”