Back to business-Local owners get creative to serve community | Covid-19

Shelli Parker

With the governor planning to reopen Texas in phases, some local business owners are anxious to get started.

Although some have expressed concern, local business owners have asked, “Why are big box stores safe, but smaller shops aren’t?”

In spite of tough restrictions, local owners have found ways to serve the community through very creative and valuable ways.

Several local restaurants have adapted to meet the needs of the community by offering grocery sales through their suppliers. Hunan’s Sushi and Grill, Danny’s Smokehouse and Bar-B-Q and Callaway’s Coffee & Bistro have been offering grocery order service in addition to their normal take-out menu with curbside delivery.

COVID-19 caused items such as paper towels, toilet paper, baking staples, meat and vegetables to be scarce at times. These local businesses stepped up to serve. Now that we are gradually going back to normal, supporting them in return is vital to their recovery.

Adam Martin, shift manager of Callaway’s said the idea to offer goods at wholesale prices was to help people meet a need.

Restaurants and bakeries were not allowed dine-in services, but adapted. Please consider supporting your local restaurant.

Danny’s, Hunan’s, Callaway’s are all offering their complete menu to-go in addition to some grocery items. A list of items available can be found on their Facebook pages or by contacting them directly.

Texas Keto Bakery in Brownsboro is open for curbside as well as Bean & Burger Malakoff, Tree-house Cupcakes (graduation cookies available), Benson’s Treats and Eats,  Victoria’s Mexican Restaurant of’ Murchison, Ochoa’s, and Ken’s Pizza. Scott’s Crossing Feed store is offering burgers as well as feed, hay and some grocery items.

Retail stores have found ways to be creative as well.

Guitars etc., a local music store, has been offering lessons online and curbside service for retail and repair services.

Local jewelry store owners Traci and Jackie Wilkes, of Reigning Jewels are offering curbside service to clients. When repairs are needed, items are picked up and dropped off at the car. Reigning Jewels is also open for online purchases.

Retail establishments deemed “non-essential” have really struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic and feel that their true value has not been recognized according to some business owners.

“All businesses are “essential” to our local economy. This lock down has been grossly unfair to, deemed, non-essential businesses,” Tracey Wilkes said. “There were no mandates put on large ‘essential businesses’ and they are the worst hotspots. We should be allowed to have a few customers in our store with proper precautions. Small businesses are the backbone of this country and so many may not be able to sustain and re-open. It’s an injustice indeed.”

Some businesses such as local hair salons are still unable to open. Several beauticians have commented that their salons are cleaner than other places that are open currently.

Mimi’s Creative Kids has been open and working on schoolwork and Mother’s Day crafts.

Shiloh on the Lake is helping the outdoorsmen by offering RV camping and cabin rentals.

Local realtors are utilizing technology, including virtual tours, online paperwork and photo galleries.

The East Texas Arboretum remains open despite the COVID-19 pandemic, although social distancing is requested.

There are many local businesses that need your support right now. When businesses succeed, jobs are provided which will help the unemployment rate as they bounce back.

“Small businesses have common sense to do what is correct,” said Denise Palmer, co-owner of The Frame Shop. “We have limited customers at a time anyway being small, so it would be easy to be safe and cautious if we had simply been given the chance. We are good stewards of our communities.”

For more information on other local businesses open and offering services, please follow the Athens Daily Review on Facebook.

Are you a local small business owner struggling to adapt? Email sparker@athensreview. com.

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