Local business owners are doing things they never thought they would be doing.
But as COVID-19 continues to spread, they're forced to get creative.
While the state has prohibited restaurant and bar dining, business owners are taking advantage of the ability to offer curbside and take-out delivery.
But some restaurants are taking it one step further. Breakfast and brunch restaurant Morning Edition has created “quarantine boxes” in addition to its regular menu items. The boxes include staple items such as milk, eggs, bread, meat … and even toilet paper.
“We're just trying to assist,” said owner Gino Seferi. “That takes the pressure off the grocery stores. Everyone's on lockdown, so these are things they can take home.”
The response has been positive on social media.
“It's inventory we would have to get rid of anyway,” Seferi said. “So we're just giving something back.”
For Svetlana Schoggins, owner of Yellow Rose Steak & Chop House in Flower Mound, said she is considering a similar concept. For now, the move to curbside and carry-out service has kept her restaurant afloat.
“We've had some tremendous response,” Schoggins said. “But at the end of the day, it's only covering 10-15 percent of what's expected. It's nothing close to covering our bills, but it does help with the bills and with keeping staff on the payroll.”
Schoggins is one of many business owners who have felt the impact of the COVID-19 spread.
“We started seeing a drop in customers about a week and a half before the news about the (coronavirus) spread,” Schoggins said. “People were becoming more cautious. But now all dining is closed.”
Seferi said the impact of the coronavirus on Morning Edition has been “devastating.”
For now businesses are doing what they can and are glad the creative ideas are providing some relief.
“We're trying to take this day by day and figure this out as we go,” Schoggins said. “This could get worse.”
Other options for residents include home delivery services. HeyWhats4Dinner has been delivering meals in the Flower Mound/Lewisville area for the last seven years.
Scott Sharkey, owner of HeyWhats4Dinner, said calls for delivery have increased over the last couple of weeks, and he said that will likely continue.
The Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce is doing what it can to help local businesses.
The chamber added a link on its website, flowermoundchamber.com, to offer a variety of resources, such as updates for local businesses and restaurants. That includes a list of restaurants that are providing take-out and carry-out services.
The page also includes a link to small business resources.
And with more employees working remotely, the link also provides tools for working from home.
The chamber is providing links to connect businesses with the latest health information from at the local level.
It's including a survey in its eNews blast to members so they can tell the chamber how their business has been impacted by COVID-19 and how the chamber can help.
The chamber is also reaching out personally.
“We have almost 700 members in our chamber,” said Lori Walker, chamber president. “We divided up that entire list, and we're calling every one of them.”
Walker said the chamber is sending out businesses' information through its various channels and re-posting information from their members onto their social media pages.
“We're sending these out to our influencers, and we have a lot of influencers from a lot of demographics,” Walker said.
While the chamber has long been a source of promoting businesses, the efforts have become even more critical over the last month.
“You think you have plans for a lot of things until you encounter something like this,” Walker said. “We have to figure this out together.”