Joel Martinez ran his landscaping business out of his trailer. Recently, he had finished work at 1 a.m., and woke up at 6:30 a.m. the following day, to find his equipment trailer had been stolen from his driveway. The landscape contractor from Arlington, Washington, had just lost all of his residential and commercial equipment, an investment of roughly $10,000.

It was a troubling time for Martinez, the owner of First Choice Landscaping, which was virtually out of business. But some local businesses came to his rescue. For starters, the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce allowed him to use their social media channels to send out word of the theft. In addition, they also let him send out a list of some of the items that he’d lost, which Chamber members were advised to look out for.

But the biggest assistance he received came from another local business. Lance Brown, of Pilchuck Rentals in Marysville, Washington, loaned Martinez a commercial lawn mower and backpack leaf-blower. He had bought equipment from Brown in the past, and the two had a long history together. As such, he had no problem loaning equipment to Martinez when he was down on his luck. Brown told Martinez not to worry about the cost, trusting that he would to pay him back when he could.

“I don’t know what I would have done without Lance’s help,” Martinez said. “When things like this happen, you can either quit or keep going, and I’ve got too much invested to stop now.”

“We’re just sponsoring him for a couple of months, so he can back on his feet and get his work done,” said Brown, who noted that the season started early this year. “Joel has been a loyal customer since day one, and he’s a community asset, so by making sure he’s covered, what goes around can come around. It’s all about community spirit and helping people stay employed.”