In the beginning of March 2020 COVID-19 entered the United States, imposing a national emergency which greatly impacted small businesses nationwide. Varying much needed COVID-19 restrictions slowed the spread of the virus, although the restrictions negatively affected small businesses especially in the first year of the pandemic.
By having a nationwide lockdown where small businesses were unable to remain open, which led to many of the workforce having to rely on the government for financial assistance. Locally, Delaware has had hardships brought forth upon businesses, although some, including Amato’s, Ciao Cafe, and the Delaware Antique mall have recovered well.
During the nationwide lockdown, Amato’s adapted their restaurant from generating revenue from customers eating at their location to heavily relying on DoorDash and delivery in order to retain past income.
Due to the varying dining restrictions, Amato’s depended on the support of DoorDash in order to compensate for pre-Covid annual profits. The service also allowed them to reach their goal of not minimizing employees' work shifts.
During the height of the pandemic, Amato’s did report having a minimal loss in revenue caused by the restricted public dining. Once restrictions were lifted, however, a manager at Amato’s stated that the restaurant had to stop taking DoorDash orders because of the high demand of orders from customers.
The Delaware Antique Mall is a local business that sells tools, paint, antiques, as well as various other items. The Delaware Antique Mall could have been heavily impacted by the pandemic due to their small business relying on customers having the ability to shop without pandemic restrictions, similarly to how the restrictions impacted restaurants.
The antique mall was only closed for one month due to the business being assigned as an essential business because they sell paint and tools. This classification allowed The Delaware Antique Mall to attract an ample amount of customers interested in painting their house reportedly due to everyone being stuck at home.
Their business also moved from Sandusky St to William St which was reported to significantly increase customers, according to the store’s manager. The Delaware Antique Mall struggled in the beginning of the pandemic, although changing locations as well as experiencing an increase in revenue after the mandatory lockdown for business owners proved to be financially beneficial. In fact, the local business reported having an 80% increase in sales in 2021 compared to 2020 last year which is uncommon for small businesses.
The Ciao Cafe had to close for six weeks during the height of the lockdown which reportedly had no impact on their small business, according to their manager. The business only reported having a minimal decrease in revenue during that time due to the lock down restrictions set on restaurants.
During the pandemic, the Ciao Cafe stated that they had a sustainable amount of customers visiting the store. The manager stated that during the 2019-2020 school year they experienced fewer Ohio Wesleyan students in their store, although the OWU students that did go to the cafe were consistent customers.
Many small businesses across the United States suffered to stay financially stable due to the pandemic, although many small businesses in Ohio Wesleyan’s community have recovered from COVID-19’s effect on the economy. Various forms of businesses in Delaware have prospered during the harsh economic times the country faced.