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Cottrell concocts local $2 bill Coronavirus stimulus plan

By Lisa Tindell

As people across the country began seeing the economic impact payments from the federal government in their bank accounts this week, some local residents were seeing a different kind of stimulus payment. And, the event may seem a little familiar to some in the Brewton area.

Danny Cottrell, owner of the Brewton Medical Center Pharmacy, repeated a gift-giving event similar to one he performed in March 2009. This gift to employees is one that he says just makes sense to help out in difficult times.

Above, the front page on Feb. 25, 2009 featured Cottrell and longtime employees, Lois Crenshaw and Carolyn Kennedy receiving the $2 bill bonus.

“We are all going through some tough times right now,” Cottrell said. “My employees are working hard and working some long hours and we are all right in the middle of this.”

Cottrell said the $200 gift to each of his employees is meant to help them through a tough time, but to also help out other businesses in the community.

“We know there are guys out there that need our support,” Cottrell said. “I’ve asked my guys to spend the money with local restaurants and other businesses to let those folks know that we’re behind them.”

 

Cottrell didn’t just walk into a bank and get $6,000 in $2 bills. He says the plan to hand out the cash was one that had to be planned in advance.

“You have to order in advance when it’s $2 bills,” Cottrell said. “I made the decision last week and made the order.”

Cottrell passed out the bills to employees on April 14 to employees in Brewton, East Brewton and Flomaton and said area merchants should be seeing the bills in the coming days and weeks.

“We’ve been doing some things to help local restaurants recently by ordering lunch for our employees a few days a week,” Cottrell said. “I thought I needed to do something for the employees and by asking them to spend the money with local businesses, it was like killing two birds with one stone.”

As far as Cottrell’s business, he is confident things will improve.

“We are down some, but not as much as we were in 2009,” Cottrell said. “We were in a place then that we didn’t know what would happen. But, now, we know this will get better. It’s different this time and we know that things will turn around. A lot of other businesses are in the same position we’re in. I know that we will get through this.”

Cottrell’s generosity to his employees and his community are legendary with many news and entertainment outlets covering his goodwill efforts. The story revolving around the 2009 gift can be found across the Internet. By simply doing an Internet search of the local businessman, many stories and videos can be found touting the inspirational gift.

“It just makes sense,” Cottrell said. “It’s not a lot, but it can help in a time of need.”