With local businesses mandated to close their doors and transition to delivery services, Red Rock Ford of Dickinson has put their own hardships on hold to extend a helping hand through the free use of some of its vehicles.

Red Rock Ford in Dickinson announced that until May 31, the dealership would provide up to 20 vehicles for use as delivery vehicles within the community. The offer is open to independent drivers and local small businesses such as restaurants, pharmacies, nursing homes and clinics in need of providing delivery of essential items within Dickinson and the surrounding area.

Christina Littlefield, a marketing specialist with Red Rock of Dickinson said that the program hopes to help support local non-chain establishments by providing them with assistance during the crisis.

"Since we are still open and operating, we wanted to do something to help our local community during this pandemic," Littlefield said. "There are a lot of local restaurants that don't normally handle deliveries, so we wanted to offer them a vehicle to use at no charge."

Littlefield said the program allows for small businesses to pick up the vehicles in the morning and return them each evening at the dealership. Businesses would only have to sign a rental agreement and provide proof of valid driver’s license and full coverage insurance, as well as adhere to protective measures set by the CDC.

"We actually have five vehicles sitting out ready to go, if anyone would walk in today," Littlefield said. "Every morning we fully sanitize and clean the vehicles, and felt that we could help Dickinson businesses stay in business as we all face these challenging times together."

She added that her hopes are that programs like the one being done by all the Red Rock Fords on the Western Edge would encourage businesses to both remain profitable while assisting local residents quarantined in their homes amid COVID-19 pandemic, and demonstrate their continued commitment to Dickinson's community.

Littlefield said that despite their own hardships resulting from decreased sales and traffic, they understand the importance of keeping the community functioning and healthy. A decision to move forward with the program was, according to Littlefield, one of placing the community first.

“We are still open in service and sales. We have sanitizer everywhere, we have an ozone machine and every employee has been provided with a washable facemask,” Littlefield said. “It's a scary time in Stark County. We just want people to know that we are here for them and their businesses."

Littlefield said that Ford has implemented excellent programs which are already being used by many in North Dakota's Western Edge.

"We are offering six months, no payments; 84 months, zero interest. If you are struggling, we have a website and phone number that you can call and we are offering these programs to help those who can't make their payments,” she said. "We are going to stay open as long as we can and try and help anyone we can. We'll gladly pick-up your vehicle, bring it here, service it and take it back. We want to help in any way we can."

For information about the rental services, call Red Rock Ford at 701-225-5175 or stop by 2585 I-94 in Dickinson.