Small businesses in Kodiak are continuing to weigh reopening their doors for business with the new precautions they will need to take to comply with local and state restrictions.
Laura Creighton, who owns Creighton Chiropractic, closed her business two days before the statewide shutdown, despite being classified an essential business. She reopened the clinic last week, but said she’s limiting traffic to one patient at a time.
Along with health screenings before appointments, Creighton said “We’re having people wear masks and wash their hands at the door, only bring in your keys.”
She said she’s also wearing a mask and gloves to see patient, and cleaning all points of contact in between patients.
Kodiak still has only one confirmed COVID-19 case as of Monday. But Creighton, like many other business owners is being cautious about the reopening. She says if there’s an uptick in the spread of the disease, they’ll close down again.
Ardinger’s Fine Furnishings, which is attached to Alexandra’s Salon also reopened recently. Alex Turner, who runs the business with her husband Casey, said they’re making sure they keep the store at the mandated 25 percent capacity — about five shoppers in the store at any given time. On the salon end, all appointments are booked ahead of time, with no walk-ins.
They’re also providing hand sanitizer and she says so far they haven’t had trouble making sure customers wear masks.
“The people that are comfortable are coming in and everyone’s keeping their distance,” Turner said.
During the shutdown, Ardinger’s offered shopping services over the phone, which Turner said is still continuing. “We still do have a lot of phone orders come in because I think everyone is just trying to be cautious and play it safe. We appreciate that and we are here for phone orders.”
Despite the hardship of the shutdown, Turner says they managed to secure a paycheck protection program loan early on, and kept all staff paid through the shutdown.
Raymond LeGrue, who owns Henry’s Great Alaskan Restaurant, said the shutdown came with very little notice, leaving them scrambling to deal with $13,000 in groceries that were scheduled to arrive after the shutdown went into effect.
A new online take-out ordering system helped business over the last two months, he said. But now, even though Henry’s is allowed to seat at 25 percent occupancy, he said they haven’t even filled 10 percent of the restaurant at any one time.
“People are slowly coming back in right now. But even with the dine in business for the last two weeks … it’s been about 25 percent of our total, when it used to be 98 percent.”
Like Turner, LeGrue said he received paycheck protection program loan money last week. A large chunk of the restaurant’s employees are temporarily out of work, with some receiving unemployment benefits. But LeGrue is hopeful they’ll be able to add on to the current skeleton staff if business picks up in the coming weeks.