Some New Albany business owners say they are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic could have an impact on their sales.
“I feel like my business is very much impacted by the coronavirus,” said Beverly Hall, owner of Main Street Linen company in downtown New Albany.
Hall said there have been fewer people coming in her store and that people are probably a “little uneasy right now.”
She noted that this is an “unprecedented” time.
“We’re in it with everybody else,” Hall said.
Hall wants people to know that her business is open and that “we’re going to make the best of it.”
“It’s slowed down a little bit,” Hall said. “We’re hopeful that it‘s going to warm up and things are going to get better. We’re going to be here as long as the city of New Albany allows us to be open.”
With spring, Easter, weddings and graduations coming up, this should be a busy time for Main Street Linen Company, which sells women’s clothing and accessories, she said.
“It’s going to have an impact if it stays slow,” she said. “But we’re going to buckle up and hope for the best. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
The owner of Vintage Market says business has been “terrible” due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the nation.
Employee hours have also been cut back at the Vintage Market as a result of the crisis, said owner Sandra Wilson
Vintage Market is still offering curbside pickup and delivery of food. Wilson said she is going to keep the restaurant going as long as she can during the pandemic.
Business at Ciao Chow in downtown New Albany has been severely impacted by the coronavirus, said owner Mike Carroll.
Carroll said he is worried about local businesses as the coronavirus continues.
He said New Albany has become known as a place where people like to go out to eat because of the diversity of the restaurants.
“It’s scary for all of us,” Carroll said.
Ciao Chow continues to offer carryout meals, and food can be delivered by New Albany Food Dash.
Meanwhile, the restaurant is only working three people instead of 16.
Jeff Olson, co-owner of Tallahatchie Gourmet, said the restaurant has gone to offering a condensed menu either through curbside service or delivery with NA Food Dash.
“Business-wise, we’ve been fortunate our curbside service has done better than I ever thought it would be,” Olson said. “Casseroles have been a big seller. We’re just trying each day to do something. We’re updating the website every day, so people have a menu.”
Olson said the store is currently open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The condensed menu, he said, includes the most popular items only.
“These are the items that most people get,” Olson said. “Unfortunately, some of the menu items that people do like, like the TG tacos, are just off the menu right now. Hopefully, as we go forward, things will be back to normal. But just from a labor standpoint, right now, we’re trying to make it streamlined as possible to get the orders out with the staff that we have.”
Olson said even though this is a difficult time for everyone, he hopes there are better days ahead.
“We’ve just got to weather through this storm and things will get better,” he said.
Moises Lemus, co-owner and general manager of El Agave Mexican Restaurant in New Albany, said the customers can now pick up their meals through its drive-through window.
“It’s been challenging, but we’re holding up okay so far,” Lemus said. “We’re closing an hour earlier each day, at 9 p.m. In the last day, we have seen a drop off in customers, which we expected given the situation. We’re just trying to hang in there until this is over.”
But one business, 2A Armaments on Bankhead Street in downtown New Albany, reported that its ammunition sales have soared in the wake of the coronavirus.
“People are scared,” said owner April Hardy. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared.”
But Hardy said she does not understand why people feel as though they need to stock up on ammo.
Herman Windham, owner of Windham TV and Appliance, in downtown New Albany said he thinks his business has slowed down some as a result of the coronavirus.
“We’re still selling some stuff,” Windham said.
Windham said he is concerned that the coronavirus could end up impacting his business even more.
“It very well could,” Windham said.
He thinks the coronavirus could still be here this summer.
“I think we’re going to see a slow summer,” he said.
Business has not slowed down too much at Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. in downtown New Albany, said owner Magen Bynum.
However, Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. also has two locations that are in malls in Jackson and Tupelo. The business’ mall locations are “suffering,” Bynum said.
“Malls are somewhat shutting down,” she said.
Fortunately, Magnolia Soap & Bath Co.’s stand-alone stores in New Albany and Oxford are doing OK.
“Luckily, right now we’re kind of a necessity as far as soaps and hand sanitizer,” Bynum added. “We’ve had customers all day in New Albany and in Oxford.”
But she remains concerned that the coronavirus could slow down business.
Bynum is trying to keep her business going strong so her employees can continue working.
There are more than 20 employees in her company, and she worries about them losing work.
“What are they going to do for jobs if we close down?” Bynum asked.
Pat Taylor, one of the owners of Between Sisters Boutique in downtown New Albany, said she has not seen any significant slowdown in her business as a result of the coronavirus.
“We’ve been making sales,” Taylor said. “We’ve been fine so far. We’ve been pretty steady.”
However, Taylor said she is concerned that if the coronavirus continues for a while that it could impact her business.
“We’re in the early stages of it I think,” Taylor said. “We’re just taking it one day at a time.”
Claudia Garrett, an employee at Bead Shack Kids, said she thinks business has been impacted by the coronavirus.
“It’s been very slow,” Garrett said.
It appears people are not getting out as the coronavirus crisis continues, Garrett said.
She noted that Bead Shack Kids is offering free shipping and curbside pickup of merchandise. The goal is to make it easier for people to shop, she said.
Garrett added that employee hours have also been cut back. She is concerned that the problems caused by the coronavirus will continue.
“It’s bad in the sense that it spreads so quickly,” Garrett said.