Maryville city officals work to balance public health and the local economy

Although businesses and life continues to open back up, Maryville city leaders continue to evaluate and monitor what's possible for their town.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 12:04 PM

(MARYVILLE, Mo.) One group that continues to struggle during the pandemic are area small businesses.

Although businesses and life continues to open back up, Maryville city leaders continue to evaluate and monitor what's possible for their town.

“It’s really put the burden on local elected officials to really look at local conditions and determine where they feel comfortable with public health in their community,” Maryville City Manager Greg Daniel said. “Which also places them in a tough battle between public health and the local economy.”

Small businesses find themselves right in the middle of that battle.

Matt Gaarder and Rapid Elite stayed open throughout the pandemic making some changes around the store to make customers feel safer, but it was anything but business as usual.

"April was a struggle, was a real struggle. May and so far in June, have been better, but it's going to take some time to fully recover from what's gone on,” Gaarder said.

Gaarder doesn't know where his business would be if it was brand new.

"I'm thankful for the fact that we are 10 years in,” Gaarder said. “If we were just a couple or two or three years in, I think back to those days when we first got the business started had this hit, no, there would have been no way we would have been able survive it."
That's a reality facing small businesses across the country forced to shut their doors due to the pandemic.

But in Maryville, federal relief has helped keep things going.

“Based on the average of what our population size is, we received more in federal funding to our businesses than an area our size was expected to and that was because our businesses had the knowledge and the ability to move forward very quickly so that was helpful,” Lily White, Executive Director of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce said.

Covid-19 cases haven't hit Maryville hard up to this point with less than 35 cases in the city and Nodaway County combined, but it’s not stopping Gaarder from preparing for anything that may happen next.

“Every penny will be kept back just in case there is a second wave or might be a second shutdown or something like that,” Gaarder said. “To make sure that we can be covered if that does happen.”

City officials say the pandemic has not impacted the city revenue as much as others because of the online sales tax levy that was passed in 2019.

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