With a new proclamation signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday, more local businesses closed their doors to the public.
In addition to shutting down barbershops, salons, spas, massage parlors and tattoo establishments, Gov. Reynolds also extended the order to bookstores, clothing outlets, shoe stores, jewelers, luggage stores, cosmetic stores, florists and furniture stores. The order doesn’t affect other retail establishments such as discount stores, grocers and pharmacies.
The new moves from the governor have had an immediate impact on local businesses, with several having to change up how they offer services to clients while others have shut down indefinitely. The proclamation from Gov. Reynolds extends from 10 p.m. Thursday through April 7.
Barnes Furniture will shutter its furniture store to the public yet will remain “partially open” with its appliance store as an “essential service.” Other essential services provided at Rabe Hardware’s location in Vinton such as heating, cool, electrical and solar services will continue, according to the store.
Viking Sewing will continue to keep their doors open to the public as the fabric store is currently helping to supply material for masks and gowns for Virginia Gay Hospital and the Vinton Lutheran Home. McDowell’s Building Material and Cedar River Ink also remain open with their regular posted hours.
Auto supply stores have not been impacted by the Governor’s health emergency as Carquest and Arnold’s Motor Supply in town are both open and will maintain their regular hours of business. Both businesses do request customers abide by social distancing practices while in their stores.
Michael and Dowd will close their doors to the public amid the governor’s health emergency, but it is uncertain if the business can remain open. Lisa Vogt, manager of the appliance store, is attempting to get in touch with the governor’s office in order to learn parameters of what she is able to do.
“We’re just trying to be positive and find that silver lining to see what we can and cannot do,” Vogt said. “It wasn’t spelled out if we are to be closed for walk-ins with appliances. What do you do for that person that has an emergency with their refrigerator going out?
“We still have our Facebook page, our website, we'll just be working more on showing pictures, still showing products. Our store has had people call in and then we were able to sell over the phone and deliver in that way.”
Three D Kitchens announced its retail, antiques, decor and accessories departments are now closed through a Facebook post Friday. The store will still be open for appointments only from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday as an essential business as it sells equipment to building, trade and plumbing companies.
“It was slow as far as people coming in before that,” showroom manager Dawn Duskin said of the business her store received after the governor’s proclamation. “People are paying attention to what they’re being told to do: stay home, stuff like that.
“Every day is a rollercoaster, and you don’t know what the next day brings. Right now, we’re just doing what we can do while they’re allowing us to do it.”
Other stores are trying to make do with what they can offer such as Nick’s TV and Appliance or Jessy’s Gems. Nick’s is currently still open with limited offerings while Jessy’s has turned its once-walk-in location into a delivery and mailing service.
“I’m doing what the restaurants are doing,” Jessy’s Gems owner Jessica Levy said. “People can get takeout.”
That’s the route that Nature’s Corner is taking. While still selling flower arrangements, it isn’t allowing clients into its store. Instead, its website has set up an arrangement where prospective buyers can call in, get photos of arrangements sent to them and have flowers delivered.
“We are limiting person-to-person contact as best as we can,” the store’s website said.
Both Cameron’s Clothing and Henkle Creek Mercantile are both feeling the brunt of the pandemic with both stores closing down. Owner Karilea Ries said she and her staff will do the best they can to keep in contact with clients through social media, including Facebook and Instagram posts, as well as also taking on the restaurant angle with deliveries and pickups.
“We'd be glad to help them or answer any questions,” Ries said. “If somebody sees something they're interested in on our Facebook, we can meet them and do curbside pickup, or we can ship to them for free.
“Right now, we're just taking it step by step and trying to adapt and adjust ourselves. Our customers are our first and foremost priority. We're trying to figure out ways to best accommodate them.”