Essential or not? Some businesses close just in case, some stay open

Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 11:00 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some essential businesses have chosen to close down for safety sake, while some say they’re staying open because it’s the right thing to do.

Scotty Roundtree details cars. His business has gone from about five cars a day to one. But when the time came to decide if he would keep it open, he chose to continue to serve his customers from a safe distance while other detailers stopped working.

“You don’t have to interact with me, you can just shoot me a text or whatever, and I can come out to your house and detail it and you can pay me with online apps or anything and I don’t even have to have face-to-face contact with you,” he said.

Another unlikely auto-related business has shut its doors for the sheltering in place, though.

All the Mister Car Washes in the metro area will close until the stay home order is lifted. Other car washes will remain open, but spokeswoman Megan Everett says the choice for Mister Car Wash was clear.

“If we do this together right now, we can get through this," said Everett. "That’s a hard decision that we’ve made as a business over the last couple of weeks, but we feel like it’s the right thing to do.”

It wasn’t until less than a week ago that lawn services were declared an essential business, still some in the metro area won’t work though the shutdown. Jonathan Sanford, though, is keeping his open.

“First of all, it’s the way I provide for my family and I’ve got a guy who helps me and it’s the way he provides for his family. And as long as the good Lord’s willing, we’re going to keep doing what we do,” Sanford said.

Family-owned Safeway Cleaners on Lakeland Drive shortens its hours, but Operations Manager Brad Parker says it was a tough decision to stay open.

“There are still plenty of employees out there that are employed by the state and the government and what have you that are still working so we’re here to try to provide a service for them as far as anybody else, emergency responders, police personnel, fire department, what have you,” Parker said.

Safeway is now open in the mornings and in the afternoons so that customers can drop their clothes off on the way to work and pick them up on the way home.

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