As state and federal entities attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus, companies big and small are feeling the impact.
From dine-in restaurants and flower shops to musicians and visual artists, many businesses are impacted by recommendations from state and federal health officials. President Donald Trump outlined guidelines for citizens to follow to help slow the spread of the illness, including limiting social gathering to 10 people or less.
The Utah Department of Health and Utah’s Coronavirus Task Force issued an order alongside Gov. Gary Herbert that prohibited restaurants, bars and food establishments from offering dine-in options for residents statewide for two weeks beginning Wednesday.
Tosh Metzger, owner of Provo Florist LLC, said health official recommendations have greatly affected his business — from canceled weddings to more private viewings at funerals, more and more floral arrangement orders are being withdrawn.
“We’ve had other places call and cancel saying they don’t seed flowers, they’re too busy buying food,” Metzger said.
The best way residents can support small businesses, he said, is picking up the phone. While dine-in or in-person options might be closed, a number of businesses, including restaurants and floral shops, will still take orders online or over the phone.
In fact, Metzger said the shop’s online sales have picked up a little bit since the announcement.
“We’re fairing better than other shops,” he said. “Our store isn’t really a place where people gather, anyway. As long as the phone is open and internet is available, we’re open.”
For other businesses, especially restaurants, some locations have had to temporarily close or choose to adapt. The governor’s order does not prohibit curbside, drive-thru, delivery or pick up options, so local restaurants are teaming up with third-party delivery services — like GrubHub and UberEats — to avoid shutting their doors.
The best ways to support local businesses throughout a quarantine largely come down to planning for the future. For some restaurants, like Fat Daddy’s Pizzeria, customers can buy gift certificates that they can use once the order has been lifted but that benefit the business immediately.
In other cases, consumers can order food from restaurants that are still open through third-party apps. Services like Postmates, Door Dash and UberEats offer no-contact delivery options to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
A group driven to ensuring local restaurants don’t go under because of government action, called Support Utah Dining, has also started a running list of small business from which consumers can order to-go meal options.
For other entrepreneurs, like musicians whose concerts have been canceled or venues have been temporarily closed, the best way for consumers to continue to support is through purchasing merchandise or sharing their music.
“Weddings and receptions, concerts, corporate performances. It’s all gone,” Zach Colier, a Provo musician, said in a post to Facebook. “A lot of (musicians) teach private lessons as well, and a lot of people are cancelling those.”
Streaming music is completely free to users but continues to support the artists behind the music.