Businesses making tough decisions on how to operate during coronavirus

Posted March 18, 2020 12:46 a.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2020 5:11 p.m. EDT

— A number of small businesses in the Triangle are forced to make tough decisions on how to operate due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We talked with several business owners and many of them are either closing up shop temporarily or finding new ways to stay open by limiting person-to-person interaction.

At Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming, at least, it's business as usual. Manager Tristian Kelly says there’s been a decrease in foot traffic because of coronavirus concerns. However, employees continue to work.

"Still going to be doing day-to-day operations, answering phones, making grooming appointments," said Triatian Kelly, manager of Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming.

Kelly said a majority of customers who come in are elderly. Employees are changing their interactions with them for their safety.

"We're doing dog food delivery to their house, to their apartment, we're doing curbside service as well," Kelly said.

Businesses and coronavirus

Big-box retailers also making adjustments. Places like Macy’s announced it will be closed through March 30. Walmart and Kohls adjusted their hours.

Employees at Steven Shell Living, a locally-owned furniture store are finding ways to stay busy.

"We've always specialized in people coming into our store and giving them a really great experience through energy, great furniture," said Kaleigh Koch, manager of Steven Shell Living.

It’s shifting its business model to keep things running.

Businesses and coronavirus

"We deliver stuff to people's car door today, curbside, we're offering just to sell on Instagram, over the phone, email, text," Koch said.

Amid a public health crisis, these businesses count on customers to stay alive.

"A lot of the service depends on the traffic coming into the store, mom and pop stores," Kelly said.

Managers tell me it’s important to keep allowing their employees to work, even with limited hours. They’re all just waiting for the this threat to pass.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.