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Local businesses feel economic impacts of Covid-19

As the city prepares for a shelter-in-place ordinance businesses are bracing for what's to come.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 8:22 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2020 12:46 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph businesses are starting to feel the effects of the Coronavirus’s economic impact.

The city is imposing a Shelter-in-Place ordinance set to go into effect March 24th, the ordinance will force all nonessential businesses to close.

Business owners who fall into the nonessential category are bracing for the economic impact.

LaTonya Williams, a local photographer, is feeling the effects first hand as businesses deemed "non-essential" are forced to cease operations.

Williams, who is self-employed said her bottom line is likely already busted.

"I would’ve never imagined anything like this," She said. "almost all of my income overnight is just completely gone, it's pretty scary."
Other businesses around town are also struggling, managers said the closures mean having to tell their staff members they can no longer guarantee steady work.

"It was so heartbreaking last week when we had to tell [our staff] that we don’t know what the future holds right now," Korey Massey, The Mark-It said.

In the midst of so much uncertainty, businesses have had to adapt to changes. Some have had to shift traffic from their brick and mortar stores to the web.

"We’re still trying to get it out there that we still can do things," Massey said. "It will just be online."

Not every business can make the transition however, Williams said her photography business relies on face-to-face interaction.
"I've had to completely close down my business," She said. "the majority of my job is taking the picture and the interaction."

Business owners said their future remains unclear, yet they remain hopeful when all this is in the past they can come back stronger than before.

"It's just one of those things where we just hope and pray that whenever this is over our customers will be coming back to us," Massey said.

The city shelter-in-place ordinance runs from Tuesday, March 24 until Thursday, April 2.

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Rain chances continued on Tuesday afternoon for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Shower chances continue throughout the day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Wednesday we will see cooler temperatures across the area with highs only in the lower 40's. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the 40s and 50s into the later half of the week.
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