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How COVID-19 has affected smaller businesses by: Emma Robinson

The Painted Trout, a quaint store located in downtown Dexter, had shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. They finally reopened in june because they were deemed a non-essential company but they found their ways to work it all out, they had a lot of online orders and started curbside pickup. This company has lost a lot of business throughout the pandemic considering it is a fishing store and they were closed throughout fishing season.

“During the pandemic we opened up curbside pickup, we also have a lot of online orders. Although we did lose a lot of sales considering we were closed during the big months for fishermen now that we are back open we've been slowly getting our sales back up.” - an anonymous sales associate at The Painted Trout

Cleary’s Pub, located in downtown Howell, has dealt with some different struggles during the pandemic. After initially shutting down, the biggest challenge recently is people coming in not wearing their masks. Despite the fact there are multiple signs hung up on all entrances, people still ignore it. Not only has Cleary’s Pub gone to a 50% capacity limit, it is also closed on Sundays and Mondays so the other side of the road can be opened and get a little more business.

“We close on Sundays and Mondays for the small businesses to get more attention and also for the other restaurants so they can extend outdoor seating.”- Nancy, a waitress at Cleary’s

Upright Fence, located in Westland, has seen many changes since COVID-19 hit. For the first month or so it was shut down. Then Kevin Watson sent in a letter to the state of Michigan to be deemed an essential business because there were jobs for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and the Livonia Police Department. Even though the company was open as an essential business, the company still struggled to get materials on time because the many suppliers were backed up as employees were quitting their jobs and it was hard to find new employees.

“COVID-19 affected my company a lot and made me lose a lot of customers, but we’re back at it trying as hard as we can.”- Kevin Watson owner of Upright Fence