‘This week we have already seen a 50% drop’: Local businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic

‘This week we have already seen a 50% drop’: Local businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic
”Normally on a Saturday we would have a lobby full of people, cars waiting, and appointments throughout the day!” (Source: WLBT)

FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - Every day that passes leaves business owners on the edge of their seats.

Many business owners said they are struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

They’re now searching for hope in a time of uncertainty.

”Normally on a Saturday, we would have a lobby full of people, cars waiting, and appointments throughout the day," said Randy Watkins, the owner of Meineke car care clinic in Flowood.

As COVID-19 continues to make its way across the Magnolia State, local businesses like his are starting to take a direct hit.

“This week we have already seen a 50 percent drop off," he said.

While more people start to practice social distancing, business has come to an abrupt halt.

“Honestly, at first, I did not think this would have an impact on us here," said Watkins. “But obviously this week, that all changed pretty quickly.”

Despite efforts to stay open during their busiest times of the year, the coronavirus is not making things easy.

“We are spraying the chairs, the handles, the bathrooms almost every hour and almost every time a customer has come and gone."

The car care clinic had to close down early on what’s supposed to be the shop’s busiest day of the week.

“My concerns are not only for my friends and family when it comes to the virus, but for my staff who depend on this business for their livelihood," said Watkins.

Watkins says their customers’ health and safety comes first, so they will be doing car pick-up and delivery, as well as utilizing online scheduling to make customers feel more at ease.

“We are dependent on our customers just as they are dependent on us to provide a service for them,” he said.

At the end of the day, Watkins says they will leave their doors open as long as possible. “We really appreciate our local customers.”

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