With more than 30 million Americans out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Image has been checking with Holden merchants for the last few weeks to see what the impact has been on their livelihoods and businesses.
Local flower shop, Country Creations, is considered a non-essential business so they have had the front door closed since the Governor’s Stay Home Missouri order went into effect in early April.
However, owner Linda Frazier wants the public to know that they are still making deliveries of flowers, balloons and gifts.
Even prior to the Governor’s order, Linda said they had very few walk-in customers in the early weeks of the pandemic. But the phone and internet orders continue.
Now, since deliveries are all they do, Linda said they have implemented the “Ding Dong Dash” promotion.
“We take the deliveries to the recipient’s address, ring the doorbell, and leave the flowers on the doorstep!” she explained.
Of course, with the pandemic, ways of doing business have changed dramatically, according to Linda. All area hospitals and nursing homes have banned deliveries entirely.
Even with residential customers, Linda said they call ahead to ensure that the resident will accept a flower delivery.
“Sometimes people would rather pick them up at the shop, especially if they have a ‘high risk’ person living with them,” she said. “We totally understand this and don’t want to put anyone at risk!
“It used to be a fun surprise to get flowers, now we have to take precautions, make phone calls, and make sure that the flowers are welcome before we deliver! So yes, times have changed!”
At Country Creations, they check the answering machine twice daily, return phone calls, fill orders, make deliveries, etc.
So, you may still order flowers or balloons for a special occasion, or just to brighten someone’s day.
And with the shape the world is in today, a special delivery of bright, beautiful flowers might be just the thing to help cheer friends or loved ones! Country Creations will continue to serve the community as best they can during this unprecedented shutdown, and Linda said they will do whatever is necessary to make the best of this difficult situation.
“We will continue to operate like this as long as the risk of the virus remains,” she said. “However, our upstairs storage room is full of new spring and summer merchandise, so we are hoping for an early termination of the restrictions!”
Unfortunately, she has had to lay off one of her employees during the shutdown.
“Call us if you want to brighten someone’s day!” Linda offered. “We are here to help! We hope that everyone abides by the rules, and hangs in there until this passes!”
The Image has also checked in with essential businesses, such as the Holden Animal Clinic.
Owner of Holden Animal Clinic, Dr. Lonnie Blum, DVM, says they have been swamped with work since the pandemic and subsequent quarantine.
Dr. Blum said they have had to change a lot of things to do business in this new foreign environment. They now limit the number of people they allow inside the clinic, to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“We are only letting one client at a time into the building, we’re doing a lot of business through the drive-up window, or the staff is going out to the parking lot,” said Dr. Blum.
The staff is also busy working to ensure the animal clinic is a safe place for clients and their animals to visit.
“We are disinfecting the door handles, the front desk surface, credit card readers, etc., extremely frequently,” added Dr. Blum.
“Our biggest problems have been the volume of work that needs done and the shortages of supplies. We haven’t had to lay off any employees.”
So, in the midst of the worst pandemic in modern history, Holden’s local business community is still busy working to serve the public, until things get back to a semblance of normal.
COVID-19 has killed more than 50,000 Americans, and is far from over. Although some states are reopening their local businesses and trying to jump-start their economies, Johnson County, and the State of Missouri are still under an order to stay home and practice social distancing, at least until May 4.
Our local businesses are doing their best to hang on until such time as we get a handle on the coronavirus and the shelter in place orders are lifted.
Don’t forget to do your part and support our local merchants while they try to protect their livelihoods. Order carry-out from local restaurants, deliveries from businesses like Country Creations, and while observing social distancing guidelines, buy from local essential businesses.