Recent COVID-19 restrictions have forced local Menomonie businesses to surrender regular business practices in order to stay afloat during the current pandemic. Since the novel Coronavirus uprooted the nation in March, alternate strategies and local support have been the key factors in keeping businesses lucrative in the city of Menomonie.
Hours and services have been made more fluid by essential businesses. Businesses such as Jimmy Johns and CVS have modified their store hours to close at 7pm. In addition, restaurants like The Waterfront Bar and Grill and Log Jam have resorted entirely to curbside pickup, meaning customers are handed their food without even exiting their cars.
Other restaurants, such as Silver Dollar on Main Street, are still allowing customers to walk in and out to pay for and pick up food. Business administration senior Connor Chambers said that the new takeout policies did not deter him from partaking in Silver Dollar’s weekly wing wednesday. “It was pretty basic. I parked right out front, went in and picked it up and swiped my card in there.” Chambers said. “There was only like one cook and one person behind the bar, so it felt pretty safe.”
For businesses labeled as non-essential, a shift towards online mediums has been crucial. Rachel Funk-Johnson, the owner of Happy Apple Therapy Center, has in the past relied on strictly face-to-face customer interactions. She has been able to maintain two-thirds of their business online. “We have been able to transition very quickly to online telehealth counseling sessions and online yoga classes,” she said. “We feel extremely fortunate that this has been an option for us as it has not been for many other businesses.”
Funk-Johnson is also a member of the Downtown Menomonie Board of Directors. She believes, “There has been a sense of support and a sense of businesses helping each other. I have never been prouder of our downtown business owners, staff and community.”