Tape lines the front of one entrance of Wal-Mart. The company restricts access to one door to enter the building and a separate door to exit to avoid customers coming into contact with one another.
Tape lines the front of one entrance of Wal-Mart. The company restricts access to one door to enter the building and a separate door to exit to avoid customers coming into contact with one another.
Jude Ratcliff

Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Lindale

With the outbreak of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, local businesses are adapting to social distancing rules and making adjustments to the way they engage in commerce. Current rules require that all non-essential corporations work from home and that restaurants no longer allow dining in to satisfy the restriction on social gatherings.
“I think in some way every business has been affected because of the trickle down effect of the economy,” Shelbie Glover, President and CEO of the Lindale Chamber of Commerce, said. “If ‘non-essential’ employees are laid off then they can not purchase what they once did and are relying only on essential household items. We have to go through it to grow through it. While we are all feeling overwhelmed and anxious in our current situation, we are all growing, reinventing and will come out stronger than before.”
The Chamber of Commerce has begun conducting online webinars to encourage commerce within the community. They have also encouraged local businesses to comply with the stay-at-home order and limit the spread of the virus by working from home if possible.
“For most, I think the hardest part is complying with the stay-at-home order,” Glover said.  “There is a difficult balance between staying at home and getting out for necessary items.”

Various businesses have enforced regulations to help control the spread of the virus. Wal-Mart has imposed a separated exit and entrance line to avoid individuals bumping into each other, and this is enforced by yellow tape and a greeter at the door, with signs requesting customers to keep a 6-foot distance from each other.

“Wal-Mart is asking that everyone stay 6-feet away from one another and to make sure they are washing their hands with soap and water,” Wal-Mart employee Madison Harrison said. “They also changed the hours of the store so that employees will have time to stock so everyone can have a chance to pick up groceries. Along with this, we allow an hour on Tuesdays for only elderly to shop to reduce the risk presented to them.”

Whataburger has similarly changed functions in order to help prevent the spread of the virus. The lobby is no longer open to customers, instead allowing online orders and drive-through options. They have also added a discount to orders made online to encourage the use of the Whataburger App and speed-up drive through times.

“Because of the recent regulations in businesses all across America, managers have no choice but to cut employees’ hours, resulting in a huge stump in plans for mine and many others’ futures,” Whataburger employee Emily Roberts said. “Most of the time there’s not many customers coming around, which means there’s only so many busy work tasks to be done until everyone is just standing around with nothing to do.”

Businesses and employees are encouraged to stay strong during this unsteady period. Through working from home, abiding by social-distancing rules, and limiting the spread of the virus, its effect will weaken, allowing workers to continue their way of life soon.

For those that can, I also encourage you to purchase gift cards, shop at local online stores, post about your favorite locations on social media, and to be an encourager and not a critic,” Glover said. “We will rise again stronger than ever together. During this time, I encourage you to reach out to your friends, neighbors, businesses and let them know that they are “essential” in your life. Do not lose hope and know that there is someone out there that loves you.

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