LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — People can often find a ‘shop local’ sticker on windows of locally owned businesses. Now, the stickers read ‘due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, we will be closed temporarily.’
But business owners are not giving up. Many, like Bella The Corner Gourmet owner, Tamera Pence, are working hard to complete take-out orders, so they can continue to provide for their loyal patrons.
“If I can keep all of those folks safe, including me, I’ll keep myself safe,” Pence said. “I know that I’ll be helping a lot of people down the road.”
Pence is taking the initiative by wiping down everything that is coming in and out of Bella.
“When they pick up their packages, it’s been wiped down,” Pence said. “They’ve not had to touch any of the credit cards machines. They’ve not had to do any of that to transmit those germs. We’ve been able to carry on so far. This is day two and we’ve had some customers and we’re grateful.”
It is not just restaurants that will be affected by the outbreak. A New Chapter Bookstore will also face challenges as they struggle to remain open to bring comfort to kids and adults stuck at home during this time. Aside from providing curbside pickup, the bookstore has mandatory hand sanitizer ready as soon as customers walk in the door.
Other businesses are expecting a lull as well. Chris Ide, owner of Patina, said they have vendors who rely on people buying from his store as their only source of income.
“At this point, we have chosen to remain open, although we don’t expect to do as much business as we’ve had,” Ide said. “That is for now, that may change in the coming days.”
One thing all business owners told us is they need community support during this time.