Dillingham business owners coping with changes ahead of potential spread of coronavirus
Some businesses in Dillingham have shut down or made adjustments as local, state and federal mandates were passed down this month.
Dillingham business owners are adjusting to shutdowns and changes to operations to reduce a potential spread of the coronavirus.
The Bristol Bay Diner and hotel are two businesses that closed last week. The diner donated fresh produce and other perishable goods to residents. Manager Tom McColloch says they’ve lost business from conferences cancelling at the hotel and other large catering events.
"We're suffering financially," McColloch said. "But we’re not kicking the can about it, we’re keeping our chins up and looking forward to the future and this vanishing at some point.”
McColloch said he could consider curbside services, but wants to take the proper precautions to protect the community and employees.
Tide Table Coffee also decided to close Tuesday. Three weeks prior to closing, co-owner Ian Fo and his spouse were the only two people working at the stand. They employ four workers. Fo said they want to minimize contact with people and adhere to social distancing practices.
"We just want people to be responsible and know that we are taking this seriously," Fo said "Hopefully, you stay safe as well.”
The closure is indefinite until things clear up.
Bristy Larsen is a hairdresser who is self-employed. Larsen provided services for people prior to the state mandated closures of businesses where individuals are within six feet of each other. She is remaining optimistic and shared some fun advice for at home care.
“I saw a funny meme going around that if you want to help yourself socially distance you could give yourself a haircut," Larsen said. "If you want to shave your own head or shave off your eyebrows; whatever will help you stay home.”
Larsen brought home all her equipment to sanitize. She wants to hit the ground running once services can continue.
The Dillingham Liquor Store is still open, but it has made strict changes to operations. Some of the workers are considered to be high-risk for contracting the COVID-19 disease.
They are allowing up to four people in the store at a time but they can make a line outside if that number is exceeded. Manager Gretchen Mueller wants to install a sliding window, submitted the plan to the Home, Alcohol and Marijuana control board this week.
“You can drive up, go to the window and make a purchase," Mueller said. "That way we don’t have closecontact with everybody in our store.”
Mueller submitted a letter to the ABC board this week. It could take up to nine days to hear back. Employees are also constantly cleaning surfaces in the store and are wearing protective gloves.
Other businesses that have shutdown include the Sea Inn and Willow Tree Bars.
If you are an employee or business owner in Bristol Bay and are affected by closures, KDLG would love to hear from you. Contact us at the station at 907-842-2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached through Facebook, Twitter @kdlgradio and Instagram @kdlgpublicradio.
Contact the author at email@example.com or 907-842-2200