New Harmony business owners persevere through COVID-19 pandemic

New Harmony business owners persevere through COVID-19 pandemic
Published: May. 7, 2020 at 10:05 PM CDT
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POSEY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - New Harmony is a historic tourism spot in the southern part of Indiana, and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way that people who live there do business.

In this small town, the streets are usually filled with families popping into local shops. Although since COVID-19 happened, businesses have had to find the strength to keep going.

“Our business owners have been very tight-knit and they’ve persevered," Andrew Wilson, a member of New Harmony’s reopening committee said.

Things don’t look the same after the pandemic hit this small town. Local store owners are now finding their new normal.

“We actually had some masks produced, just in case," Cindy Smotherman, co-owner of Firehouse Antiques said. "And we wear them also here in New Harmony.”

Many businesses in town are asking customers to wear face masks in stores, and they have a plan if you forget yours or don’t have one.

“For those who don’t have one, we provide one that they can wear while they’re in the store, and then there’s a little dirty laundry basket for them to stick it in,” Mary Beth Guard, owner of Capers Emporium said.

Some business owners are considered high risk due to age, so they are asking customers to take even more precautions.

“We ask you to sanitize your hands as you come in,” Annette Buckland, owner of The Muse said. “In fact, we are keeping our door locked so we can control the number of people and the procedure. We ask you to ring our bell and we will meet you at the door.”

Though some procedures may be different for each store, the small community is happy to welcome visitors back through the doors to their new normal.

“Those are some of the things the businesses are practicing to keep you safe, make you feel safe, and keep us safe as well," Jeff Smotherman, co-owner of Firehouse Antiques said.

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