Being a Small Business in a Pandemic

WHEELOCK - Since Governor Phil Scott's "Stay At Home" order, issued last Tuesday, business owners in the Northeast Kingdom have all felt the impact of Covid-19. One business in particular is the Village Store in the town of Wheelock.

John Powell is the owner of the store, and has owned the buisness since 2008. However, since last Tuesday, he has had a significant decrease in customers due to folks going to bigger stores and buying in bulk. "The stay at home order, I believe is being taken seriously, so there not out as often as they might otherwise be."

Because of the amount of customers that come in, Powell doesn't have to order that much, but he still has to keep ordering items for when things run out. At the same time, he tries to reduce items that aren't really needed as much.

The small store is connected to Powell's home. To other business owners, this could be a concern, but for Powell it isn't. "My customers are coming slower, I honestly believe that they're looking at the palking lot and if there's a lot of customers that they'll drive by and maybe come down later on."

Bringing up social distancing, powell continued, "Almost all my customers that come in here make sure that when they come in here they visualize who might be in here and step aside and make sure that there's a distance and the next person."

While other stores might deal with shoppers hoarding, The Village store hasn't had that problem. Powell believes it's because of where he is located and the community he is in. "It's to small of a store for them to do that. So they use this store spicifically for the goods that they may need that they run out of." However, if hoarding were to become an issue, Powell says that this would effect how he orders the items that he needs. Powell hopes to get back to normal opperation soon. But until then, The Village Store will continue to remain open, all while keeping the virus in mind and how it continues to spread.