Coronavirus pushes local businesses online
COLUMBIA - Local businesses in downtown Columbia are still welcoming customers. But a few business owners KOMU talked with Friday are not sure how long they can keep their doors open.
Joe Chevalier and his wife own the Yellow Dog Bookshop on Ninth Street. Selling books for over seven years at this location, Chevalier said fewer customers are coming in. That's because more people are likely taking precautions to stay home due to the coronavirus.
"A normal Friday for us is fairly busy," Chevalier said. "It's our busiest weekday shift."
Almost all sales of Chevalier's bookshop are in shop. However, he said, he may need to change the way he sells books.
"We are probably going to ramp up our online business," he said. "And offering home delivery to people who would rather not come in downtown."
Chevalier is not the only business owner who is thinking about changing their ways. Munir Mohammad, the owner of Shortwave Coffee, said his business is also exploring the possibility of selling goods online.
"That's a good idea," he said. "I know a lot of people have already done that."
Lizzi & Rocco's Natural Pet Market sent out notice to customers as well, saying they are offering complimentary home delivery within the city limits. They said customers who are not feeling comfortable visiting the stores can also place orders over the phone, and meet delivery drivers in parking lots.