By Joshua Maloni
In the interest of public safety, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has severely curtailed the ways in which people can gather together. Restaurants and bars are limited to takeout and delivery; movie theaters, bowling alleys, shopping malls and hair salons are temporarily closed; events are cancelled; and nonessential businesses have to reduce workforce 100%.
This is a difficult period of time, as the world contends with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control has said “social distancing” is one of the most effective ways in which the spread of the coronavirus can be limited. New York’s elected leaders have echoed that statement, and closed municipal buildings and other indoor spaces.
Essentially, the public has been asked to be diligent and work toward some form of social isolation.
At the same time, locally owned businesses still have bills that are due and workers who need to be paid. They cannot afford to close for weeks at a time.
In the River Region, merchants are getting creative with ways in which to serve the public and maintain some level of income.
Though eateries are closed to the public, many are offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup options.
“The Village Bake Shoppe: We are baking; we are open; we are here 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” owner Michael Fiore said.
“I am trying to stay open as long as I can get supplies. Monday, Thursday, Friday, 6:30 a.m. till 10 a.m. No Saturday at this time. Please stay safe,” Jane’s Café Express owner Jane Kusmierz said. Her business has a drive-thru window.
Casa Antica, known for its oversized dinners, has come up with a special menu of portable items.
It’s “the meals that are everyone’s favorites, and subs due to the fact that we are serving at lunchtime,” owner Angela Soldano-Bellanca said. A larger, pizza-included package can be purchased, she said, for larger families that “may want to have leftovers.”
Several small business owners are offering services without having to open their brick-and-mortar locations.
“Inspirations on Canvas is available for sales by phone. Highlighting my pet portraits,” owner Kathy Pignatora said. While her Center Street store is closed for the next week, “I have lots of time on my hands for pet portraits! I am very available for painting your fur baby while minding social distancing.”
Patrons can contact her at 316-4955.
John Lang of John Lang Designs said, “It’s going to be a rough ride for small businesses.” He is offering private appointments as well as online shopping and free delivery. Patrons can call 770-7892.
Speaking of her fitness business, Ami Patrick said, “The doors are open … digitally! Excited to announce that Embody Health and Wellness Online Studio is ready for you to access and explore 24/7. Through our digital presence, you will be able to discover a library of fitness classes and yoga practices – with the instructors you know, trust and love!” (Find the link HERE).
Chamber President Jennifer Pauly is compiling a list of open businesses and restaurants offering takeout and or delivery. Visit the chamber website at www.niagarariverregion.com.
•Local business owners are encouraged to reach out to Joshua Maloni on social media @joshuamaloni.
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