Elkhart County businesses fear another shutdown as Covid grows
ELKHART, Ind. --- As the shopping season picks up, Elkhart County businesses understand the holiday season will be far from normal. With 291 new cases reported today, along with the county being in zone red, many are glad to just have their doors open.
"When we had to shut down that was definitely a big drawback, but luckily we do have a website and web presence. We've been able to offer curbside pickup, something we've changed to help accommodate our customers and keep that safe social distance," said co-owner of the Big and Tall Outlet Derrick Lehman.
Locally owned businesses like the Big and Tall Outlet are still recovering from the first shutdown. The new restrictions, that have even limited travel recently, affect the outlet because it eliminates a good amount of their main clientele.
"We get a lot of our shoppers who are farmers, and RV workers, but we also get a lot of customers from out of town," said Lehman.
It is no surprise that right now, fewer people are traveling with the current climate. With this happening, stores like these in the county receive the impact.
"When those customers or those shoppers aren't traveling through Indiana because of their shutdown, that does affect us, but we do have a lot of local shoppers who will come in," said Lehman.
Even those rare businesses that have experienced good sales numbers are starting to feel the impact as events in Elkhart County continue to be canceled.
"It has really hurt us that there are no festivals, there have been no festivals in Elkhart, and Jazz Fest got canceled. We did have ladies' night downtown, and that's about the only event that's happened this whole year," said co-owner of Bella's Boutique in downtown Elkhart Gina Yoder.
Both stores, despite one shutdown, have had steady sales, but both agree that a second shutdown wouldn't be favorable for anyone.