North Alabama businesses prepare for possible statewide coronavirus shutdown

Gov. Kay Ivey says the state will not shut down, but businesses are making sure they're prepared if opinions change.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 6:45 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 7:02 PM

Coronavirus numbers are going up in the state, but Gov. Kay Ivey said on Wednesday, she does not plan to order a statewide shutdown of businesses similar to what we had earlier this year.

Despite assurances like that from the governor and other leaders, some businesses are making sure they're ready if opinions change.

One of the owners of 1892 East Restaurant and Tavern, Steven Bunner, told WAAY 31 they will be better prepared this time if businesses ever shut down again.

“We do have plans we can implement. It’s definitely not something we’re really looking forward to if it happens," said Bunner.

Some of the plans 1892 has for a possible shutdown include more carryout and curbside options, as well as catering meals to events.

The owners of the restaurant keep tables 6 feet apart to limit capacity. Bunner said the pandemic adds another complication to his line of business.

“The restaurant industry in itself, even in the best of times is an unstable, unpredictable industry," he said.

A manager at Serenity Hair Studio, Jessica Leann, said as the number of positive coronavirus cases rise, their older clients aren't coming in.

“We had a lot of clients come back, but since then, people have gotten scared, they don’t want to come out, they don’t want to risk it," said Leann.

Stylists at Serenity Hair Studio are independent contractors, so Leann said things would be difficult if salons shut down again.

“We don’t have those fall-backs that a lot of bigger businesses have, we don’t have paid time off, we don’t have paid sick leave," she said.

Even though it's been difficult, Leann said they're managing.

“We’re making it. There were concerns we wouldn’t be able to reopen, but we made it happen,” she said. 

Both businesses have learned to adjust to new ways during the pandemic, and employees are optimistic they will continue to stay open if people follow CDC guidelines.

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