MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The ongoing spread of COVID-19 has forced store owners to change the way they operate, and small businesses are not exempt.
Businesses expand online, delivery, and curbside services amidst latest COVID-19 restrictions. (WLUC)
After Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's order to close all non-essential businesses Monday morning, small business owners have been scrambling to find a way to work from home, and online.
"We have pieces that we can send out,” said Beth Millner, owner of Beth Millner Jewelry. “We know that Mother's Day is coming, we know that people need some stuff to cheer others up, you can ship other people stuff, and we will ship locally."
Milner will be embracing her website during this three week shutdown. Customers will still be able to view and purchase jewelry, and have it delivered, rather than coming into the store.
"We have lots of jewelry in stock,” said Millner. “If you see a pendant or earrings on the website, that is in stock, and we will ship it to you."
For restaurants, and other businesses selling food and drink, delivery is still an option, as is curbside pickup. That's the route that Everyday Wines will be taking. You can reach them to place an order at 906-225-5470.
"So we won't have the shop open to people to come in, but we'll still be able to do business, just not as usual," said Daniel Rutz, owner of Everyday Wines and Zephyr Wine Bar and Café.
These businesses hope to be able to offer the same level of service and care they always have, but over the phone and the web.
"Fortunately we have years of practice of assisting people, answering tricky questions, and trying to help them find the things they enjoy most," said Rutz.
Many local businesses will be depending on their devoted customers over the next couple months.
"Even if it's just $5 for a gift card, give them some hope, buy some things, would be my advice if you can," said Millner.
Be sure to continue using Marquette County's ‘Be Local Buy Local’ app at this time to see rewards for supporting local businesses. And if you can't afford to spend money, you can still reach out and support the shops, restaurants, and bars you care about.
"That has been extremely helpful,” said Rutz. “It's given us strength, it's helped us get through these really difficult decisions."
The three week shutdown ends on April 13, business owners are anxiously awaiting that day.