A Facebook post by Beans Coffee Bar & Bistro. Submitted.

Local businesses try to find their ‘new normal’ during COVID-19

COVID-19 is pushing local businesses to their breaking point.

Some local businesses have reformatted the way they are operating day to day. With COVID-19 concerns resulting in customers limiting their time in public, venturing out of their homes only for essential shopping such as groceries and work, local businesses are rethinking the way they do business.

Beans Coffee Bar and Bistro in Wetaskiwin is one of these local businesses trying to find their “new normal” in the midst of a pandemic.

“We are doing half the business,” Beans’ owner Glenn Juba said. Adapting to the circumstances of the time, Juba has his business trying new methods of getting their food and drinks out to customers in a safe and effective way.

Beans has transitioned to delivery and curbside only pickup. Juba says they’ll continue to do this “as long as it’s viable.” However, despite their loyal customers doing their best to support them through social media and their business, Juba doesn’t know how long they can last.

Another family run business in the County is feeling a similar effect of the coronavirus. Switchback Mercantile in Millet, Alta. has closed its doors to the public during the pandemic.

Owner of Switchback Mercantile, Doris Wolver, didn’t want to take any risks when it came to the health of herself, her family and her customers.

However, without an online shopping option for her store, her business has come to a halt. “They say you should have three months savings,” Wolver said, but this is easier said than done when you are a small business in a small town.

Being a small family business, Wolver finds the shutdown from COVID-19 not only concerning for her store, but her personal finances as well. “I’m worried about paying my own bills,” Wolver said.

When this is all over, “I hope local people support us,” she said, “I don’t know what to expect.” Wolver is acutely aware of how others in her community are also suffering financially because of coronavirus.

“I have a feeling it will be worse after,” she said.

Both Beans and Switchback Mercantile are burdening the strain that this virus outbreak is putting on the economy. Juba and Wolver can only hope that with local support their businesses can make it through these trying times and can open their doors to their customers again.

CoronavirusLocal BusinessWetaskiwin

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