(ABC4 News) — In response to the coronavirus outbreak and social-distancing mandate, health officials are asking Utahns to stay home and avoid large crowds.
On Monday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert implemented the Economic Response Task Force in order to help local businesses and the financial toll the current public health situation could have on them.
For Amy Christensen, Store Director of “The Store Fine Foods,” a family-owned grocery store located in Holladay and the Gateway, the recent changes are a big deal to local companies.
“Local is so important to me personally. It scares me,” she said of the recent coronavirus outbreak and its effect on local businesses. “This is a huge burden for them.”
Christensen said The Store Fine Foods is a “one-stop-shop” for hundreds of local companies. She said the business is approached every day by local companies who want the grocery store to sell their products.
For example, Christensen said The Store Fine Foods sells ice cream from Normal Ice Cream, a local business located in Salt Lake City, which cannot serve customers anymore due to Salt Lake County’s recent prohibition of dine-in options.
Christensen said one way that the public can help local businesses is through buying gift certificates from these businesses.
Matt Caputo, CEO of Caputo’s Market and Deli, which has several locations throughout Salt Lake City, agreed that purchasing gift certificates is a great way to help local businesses.
If you’re already done with your grocery shopping, Caputo said, think about buying gift certificates from local businesses that you can use in three to four months when all of this is over.
He said that in purchasing gift certificates from local businesses himself, he has seen an outpouring of emotion and gratitude from business owners. Caputo said that many people in the hospitality industry often work paycheck to paycheck.
He said that people should remember local businesses when it comes to buying pantry staples rather than just turning to Amazon. For example, as a market, Caputo’s has a delivery service and an online business where customers can order things like tomato sauce and cheese. He pointed out that this is also a great way to avoid a mob scene at the grocery store.
“It’s a really scary time for people,” he said. “Don’t forget about local retailers, because they might be gone.”
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