Slowing the spread
LE MARS — Business owners like Scott and Lisa Pageler of Le Mars are choosing to take the proactive approach and close its storefront temporarily in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pagelers have owned and operated Hardware Hank since 2010 and like many small business owners this national emergency is new territory for them.
As the days have progressed the need to take action and do their part to “flatten the curve” became more evident.
“Our customer count is between 50-80 people a day,” said Scott. “That is a lot of exposure for us and our employees. If I were to come down with this virus and be in contact with that many people a day I would feel horrible for doing that.”
Effective today (Wednesday, March 25), Hardware Hank will lock its doors until further notice.
“As the decision maker of our store, I needed to do what is best for everyone concerned and I sincerely hope others follow our lead and do the same,” Scott stated.
Aside from one slow day in the past week, Scott said every other day has been like normal with last Saturday being one of the store’s best sales days of the month.
“People want to work on projects while they are cooped up. There’s been a lot paint going out,” he explained. “I hope that this action by us and other businesses slows or stops this very contagious virus.”
While Pageler admitted the decision wasn’t easy, he said it's one every non-essential business should be making right now to slow the spread.
“If we don’t get ahead of this pandemic we will soon be like New York and have over run hospitals,” he said. “I feel very soon the governor is going to make the decision for us. We are all in this together so make the hard decision and do the right thing for everyone’s benefit. There is too much at stake.”
Across Business 75, the town’s Chevrolet dealer, Total Motors, has also elected to temporarily lock its doors effective on Wednesday.
“At this point, Total Motors is making a big step for the next seven days to follow suit with the CDC and government’s 15-day pause to limit the spread of COVID-19 to our customers, vendors and employees,” said Mitch Christoffel, general manager. “We are hoping by doing this it will encourage others to assess their day-to-day interactions and to limit the spread of COVID-19,” he continued. “We see a lot of customers on a daily basis and we understand that we could easily be responsible for the transfer of the virus.”
Over the next week, Christoffel said Total will have some critical staff working behind the scenes to ensure emergency vehicles are taken of, deep cleaning the facility, and personally taking a moment away to slow the spread.
All departments closed at 5 p.m., Tuesday, with plans to reopen on April 1, as of right now.
“If we do this being reactive rather than proactive the recommended 15-day pause will only become much, much longer and hurt more business and households,” Christoffel shared. “We are trying to be proactive so we can get back to normal at a faster pace.
“We are very thankful for our loyal customers understanding and patience in this matter. We are ready to come back much strong and ready to take care of our community exactly as we have in the past, and even better,” he concluded.