Ryan declares 'Shop Ulster Saturday' to encourage online small-business shopping - Hudson Valley One

Ryan declares 'Shop Ulster Saturday' to encourage online small-business shopping - Hudson Valley One

Ryan declares 'Shop Ulster Saturday' to encourage online small-business shopping - Hudson Valley One

Posted: 26 Mar 2020 04:09 PM PDT

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, in a joint effort with the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce, has proclaimed this Saturday, March 28 "Shop Ulster Saturday." The aim is to encourage online shopping at local businesses forced to close due to the outbreak.

"Locally owned small businesses are the lifeblood of our Ulster County economy and it is especially important that we show them our support during the COVID-19 crisis. Even though their front doors are closed to shoppers, their virtual doors are wide open," County Executive Ryan said. "We are urging everyone in Ulster County to go online this Saturday and purchase a gift card from one of our many great local stores, shops and restaurants and then use that card later in the year or give away as a gift for a birthday, anniversary or even during the holidays. The important thing is to make that purchase today."

"Thank you County Executive Ryan for your commitment to local small businesses," Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Ward Todd said. "Now is the time to roll out your virtual red carpets and welcome online shoppers, either through special incentives, BOGOs [buy one get one], or any way you can make it easier for shoppers to buy your goods, products or services."


Ozarks small business deemed not 'essential' fears of closing its doors for good - KY3

Posted: 26 Mar 2020 07:26 PM PDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -- Stay-at-home orders went into effect Thursday for several counties across the Ozarks.

Only "essential businesses" have been cleared to stay open, presenting challenges for several small businesses.

"We were getting ready to reopen just on a Friday and a Saturday, then we were told we couldn't open," said Randolph Medler, co-owner of Glenstone Cottage Antiques.

Medler said he's been selling antiques for 40 years.

"People enjoy coming into our shop because we sell different things, we're friendly [and] it's like a free museum," he said. "It's the hunt that people enjoy, it's not necessarily the items, they like going out and hunting for the item."

Medler said he and his co-owner had already shortened their hours to protect themselves and their customers.

"That's why we had shut down to two days a week, so she wouldn't get sick and get her mother sick and I wouldn't get my spouse sick who works at the hospital," he said.

On Tuesday, the city of Springfield announced a "stay at home" order, requiring people to stay at home unless you are considered an essential employee, shopping for essential services and goods or exercising outside.

"We thought we had everything figured out, but when they just tell you you're going to close your doors, I don't think anyone anticipates that," Medler said.

Medler's Antique shop is full of unique items, but his store is not listed as essential. It will be closed for the next 30 days.

"We'll literally be out of business because we have a few vendors in here, they're not making any money, we have to pay our rent at the end of the month, we have to pay our city utilities [and] we have to pay our taxes," he said. "Then, there wont be anything left for us."

Medler said small business owners take the hardest hit during these closures.

"We're not the only ones, there's an antique mall under the bridge here, STD [Flea Market], they're closed. Mikes Unique out on the bypass, they're closed, all of their employees are gone and they're in the same shape," he said.

The Stay-at-Home Emergency Order in Springfield, Greene, Christian and Webster Counties is scheduled to end on April 24.

The US Small Business Administration will also offer low-interest disaster recovery loans for Missouri small businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus.

South Africa Small Businesses Pray Government Aid Eases Coronavirus Lockdown - The New York Times

Posted: 27 Mar 2020 02:09 PM PDT

JOHANNESBURG — Marius Delarey's spacious restaurant in an upmarket Johannesburg suburb thrived on bringing up to 250 people together at a time to share food, booze and lively conversation.

"The business we had was all about social contact. Social distancing is the opposite of what we offered," he said, until the coronavirus emptied La Boqueria out and prompted South Africa to impose a three-week lockdown starting on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a raft of measures on Monday aimed at helping small businesses hurt by the lockdown, many of them already reeling from drops in tourist numbers. The country has 709 confirmed coronavirus cases so far.

Governments across the world are offering similar measures aimed at mitigating the economic fallout. But for South Africa - already suffering recession, power shortages, unemployment hovering around 30 percent, and with an economy heavily dependent on now non-existent tourism - the impact is brutal.

"On Saturday, we had 227 customers; on Monday, we had two. Coronavirus has shut us down," Delarey said, next to tables loaded up with wine he hopes to sell before pulling down the shutters on Thursday.

Ramaphosa's measures include: unemployment benefit for the temporarily redundant, tax breaks, debt relief and aid packages for the hospitality sector.


"I plan to apply for as many as possible, but ... there's no point borrowing money if you don't have a business to keep going," Delarey said. "I would be delusional to think I'll have a party here in May with 250 people."

He plans to morph into a smaller operation with delivery and a drive-through, but that will hardly match the turnover of up to 30 million rand ($1.7 million) a year the restaurant was making.

He's doubtful he will rehire all 80 of his staff.

For mobile coffee vender Siyathembo Ralo, 37, whose weekly turnover used to be 2,500 rand but has nearly halved in the past week, the lockdown will mean relocating his van to a friend's guesthouse, where at least he might still make the odd sale.

He has four staff between two such vans, and won't be able to continue paying them. He has barely enough savings for two weeks for himself, after which he'll need help from friends.

"The president said something about ... government measures, but I don't know what the channels are to access aid," Ralo said, echoing concerns of other business owners who fear requests will be bogged down in red tape.

Nicolas Panayiotou, 43, will default on his rent for his three wine shops starting next week, send 11 staff on paid leave and hope his bank will be lenient about his overdraft.

"I'm applying just to be in the queue (but) ... I doubt I'll get anything," he said, while shoppers made a last-minute dash for booze before hunkering down.

"It doesn't sound like there's enough money. The kind of relief you're gonna get is about 200 bucks (rand) at the most, but I need 290,000 (rand) just to pay my expenses."

(Editing by Catherine Evans)


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