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Small businesses didn't plan for COVID-19 to last this long

Posted at 9:43 AM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 10:43:37-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way businesses operate. Many have had to adapt to changes these past few months. Requiring masks for customers and employees, social distancing and curbside pick up have now become the norm for many.

A lot of businesses didn't expect for the pandemic to last as long as it has. When businesses first started to make changes because of the virus, they only planned for a few weeks out.

"We did not foresee the longevity of the mask mandate and some of the stuff that’s out there right now, with the six-foot distance and the 50 percent going back down into the 50 percent. We did not, that’s why we’re trying to adapt a little harder there," Cathy Thayer, owner of Fabric Bash said.

Thayer says because the quilting community thrives on in-person interaction, such as quilting classes, adapting has been especially hard.

Now, with cases spiking once more in Nebraska, businesses are having to adapt again. Thayer says they're trying to come up with ways to incorporate interaction again while still trying to keep their customers and employees safe.

"We’re trying to think outside the box. I think it’s always been there. I think we’ve felt that and in the quilting community we’ve really relied on Facebook lives and we do that once a month," Thayer said.

Tim Burke, CEO of OPPD and a chairman of the Board at the Greater Omaha Chamber, says the pandemic is going to change how businesses operate in the long run.

"I can tell you whether it’s this pandemic or the flu in 2021 in the fall that typically occurs, we’re going to think about that differently and so we may mandate masks during flu season right, just so we don’t negatively affect people. Our antennas are up about keeping our employees safe and healthy," Burke said.