Amid closings and cancellations due to the coronavirus, local business owners have suddenly found themselves in a challenging position. While some have had to shut their doors until further notice, others are hoping to see customers utilize their services to keep the local economy alive during a difficult time.
Kerry Powers, President and CEO of the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, encourages communities to continue supporting local businesses. She said 60% of Irmo’s chamber members are small business owners. It’s important to stay informed on how they are adjusting to coronavirus guidelines, and the ways in which they're still serving the community, according to Powers.
“We have to make a concerted effort to support local businesses,” Powers said. “If you can’t spend your money locally now, go online and buy a gift certificate for yourself or for someone to use later on,” she suggested.
Many local restaurants including McNulty’s Taproom in Blythewood are offering curbside pick-up, after Governor McMaster restricted dine-in services as of Wednesday. General manager Brian Bucher said he is empathetic to the precautions community residents are taking over the coronavirus pandemic, but he wants residents to have a place they can rely on in case they need to.
“Not everyone is going to want to cook for the whole family every night and we are working on offering some family-style meals that customers can pick up via our curbside service,” Bucher said. He also added that though he expects to see a decline in business for some time, he understands the safety behind the precautionary measures taken.
Some local retail shops are also offering curbside service for those still interested in shopping or who have needs from boutiques. Blush Boutique and Home in Lexington is one of many businesses offering a curbside shopping option. Owner Stephanie Niemeyer said customers can direct message, email or call the boutique to place an order and schedule it for pick up at the storefront.
“This is a difficult time and we’re trying to keep people at peace at Blush,” Niemeyer said. She wants the curbside option to be a way to relieve some of the tension during this time, while following advised precautions.
For updates on local businesses, contact local chamber officials.