Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19 Lockdown

Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19 Lockdown

Kylie Hopkins

Let’s face it. The world is a weird place right now. To keep individuals and their loved ones safe, everyone is in quarantine. The days of sitting down at a restaurant for a meal and going to the movies are temporarily over. The sooner the corona virus stops spreading, the sooner this is over, but it is indeed difficult

With everyone staying in their houses, Waterford (along with the rest of the nation) resembles a ghost town. Many businesses have been closed by the state and lots of restaurants are only serving through take-out. Small businesses right now are adjusting their plans in order to stay open if they can and provide for their customers. Other owners have to deal with the temporary closures. During this time, Waterford’s residents need to support each other while we fight this virus, and citizens need to support the local businesses in the area if able. 

After speaking with owner of Watercolor Salon in East Lyme, Leyla Langlois, she has suggestions on how people can help businesses like hers, which are currently closed. The Health Department shut all salons in the state down on March 19, leaving workers scrambling to make other arrangements. 

Langlois and her two other coworkers managed to create gift cards so customers could prepay for appointments that will be scheduled once the salon opens again. It was a way to earn immediate income to prepare for a time when money flow will be limited with their work closing. Hair products are also being sold in a sanitary manner as a way for clients to take care of their hair needs. 

Langlois herself has been supporting other local restaurants and businesses that are staying open during the time by getting takeout from various places and “thanking the delivery workers and small businesses and jobs that really support the community. It is a scary and nerve-wracking time, but people will want to go out when this is over. People get to realize what’s important and spend time together with their families. It’s a bad time but we have to think positively.“

Other businesses, such as Coastal Crab in Niantic, are staying open during this strange time and adapting to keep business running. While many people are thinking about restaurants and activities being closed or changed, other types of services are able to be offered that people should support. Coastal Crab is taking online orders for their apparel with multiple delivery methods: curbside pickup, free delivery to East Lyme and Waterford customers, and free shipping on orders over $50 for non-local customers. They are being extra-cautious with deliveries, wiping things down and maintaining safe distances.

While people can support their business by ordering online, Coastal Crab is helping other local venues through social media and having promotional raffles with other East Lyme businesses that customers can enter as a way to give back to the community. The owners of the clothing store believe that “although these are very hard times for all of us small business owners, we are hopeful and optimistic that our community will recover from this and thrive even more.”

While each citizen of the area is dealing with this challenging time, there are ways to help each other while social distancing. Whether it be ordering takeout from favorite restaurants, buying items online from local stores, or staying at home to flatten the curve of COVID-19, times like these are when it matters most to aid one another and be a connected community.