Savannah College of Art and Design is reflecting on the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and celebrating local organizations that worked to keep Savannah going over the last year by honoring them with the SCAD Salutes award. SCAD said award recipients have demonstrated virtues including creativity, kindness, grit and goodness.
Since March, SCAD has honored multiple local businesses including Union Mission, Blessings in a Book Bag, Perry Lane Hotel, Visit Savannah, Currey Dry Cleaners, Lush Nail Spa, Bethesda Academy, sociologists/author Dr. Bertice Berry, COVID-19 vaccine researcher Dr. Paul Bradley and others. The college called these organizations “heroes to their customers, clients and communities.”
SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace said, “Savannah’s businesses and nonprofits — our neighbors — continue to provide valuable services and nourish us with food, fellowship, and fortitude through this unprecedented period, and SCAD Salutes proudly lauds their perseverance and giving spirit. As we sail toward brighter tomorrows, SCAD celebrates our home city’s hearts and hands, those of imaginative makers, determined doers, and generous guides.”
Pritpal Singh is the General Manager at Perry Lane Hotel and says receiving the SCAD Salutes award means the world to him and his team.
“Getting recognition from SCAD is extremely special to us because we went through this pandemic and crisis together in the community,” Singh said. “What is truly remarkable is that when a crisis strikes, everybody looks to a leader, everybody is looking for inspiration. I think SCAD has been an inspiration for a long, long time in Savannah.”
Perry Lane Hotel truly nailed all of the qualifications for the award.
Singh says when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Savannah, they saw other hotels across the country closing down. He says Perry Lane knew that Savannah’s hospitality industry had to survive, so with lots of creativity and courage, the hotel remained open.
Singh said Perry Lane did everything from performing weekly plant-based disinfecting treatments to partnering with Satchel to provide 1,000 cloth masks for hotel employees and guests.
Slowly, but surely, the community felt assured by the hotel that hospitality and fun could continue in the Hostess City and that the tourism industry would bounce back.
Perry Lane Hotel didn’t just show creativity and grit. They’ve also shown goodness and kindness, two things Singh says have been pillars of the hotel since it’s opening.
“We believe in Southern hospitality as a brand,” Singh said. “It comes with kindness, grace, and helping one another. We realize we not only have to help our team members, but we also have to help other hotels, the community and the message of hospitality.”
Singh says the hotel typically purchases food and beverage merchandise from large companies, but when local farmers began hurting during the pandemic, they shifted gears.
“We participated in the Forsyth Farmers’ Market and bought products every Saturday,” Singh said. “Sometimes what’s important is that we don’t just keep an eye on the economics of the business. We also have to keep an eye on the community and how we can support each other.”
Support for Savannah’s hospitality and tourism industries is something Singh said Perry Lane Hotel will forever give.
“We’ll continue to improvise. We’ll continue to listen to our patrons. We’ll continue to add value to the City of Savannah,” Singh said. “If we truly believe we work in the hospitality business, it has to come from the heart. That care and compassion can only come across if we help each other in a crisis.”
To learn more about all SCAD Salutes recipients, visit scad.edu/about/scad-president/community/scad-salutes