Businesses cope with Coronavirus impact

by Micah De Haan/

From fast food restaurants to insurance companies, countless businesses have been affected in some way by Coronavirus.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds ordered non-essential businesses shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Fortunately, with the technology that most people have today, some business owners were still able to continue their work online. 

Ulrich’s Meat Market is one of many local businesses that has been affected by the virus. Luckily, they were still able to provide normal services during their normal hours. “We evaluated and adapted every week, that we could fulfill the needs and services that we were blessed with the ability to,” said owner Jayme Veenstra.

They were thankful that business  declined much less than what was anticipated. “The next two weeks will tell us more, once we have passed Tulip Time,” said Veenstra.

To adjust to the new circumstances, Ulrich’s began using MyTown2Go, which allows for customers to shop from home, and have items delivered to their front step. Another change that resulted from the virus is the fact that they are selling more of their freezer meals.

Farming has also been affected by the virus. Although farmers didn’t have to change a lot of their day-to-day operations, things such as vaccines and veterinary visits required a little more planning.  The food supply chain also became problematic as packing plants became hot spots for the virus in the final weeks of April, with hundreds of workers testing positive in a short period of time. “The biggest impact has been to the price of our product due to some plants having to close for a period of time due to workers getting the virus,” said Joel Van Gilst, a hog farmer from Oskaloosa. 

As a company in the floral and event industry, whose busy season kicks off in April and May, Shelly Sarver Designs was another business that was affected.  Unfortunately, nearly all the events that they were going to provide flowers for were canceled or postponed. “The set back for our future is hard to determine at this point,”  said owner Shelly Sarver. “As of now, flower growers are having to trash flowers they are unable to sell.”

Sadly, Sarver was unable to maintain a steady income at all, but appreciated that some saw the situation that her business is in, and sent her flowers and supported her in this rough time.  She has been taking every single order and project possible. “I am having a lot of phone and zoom consultations, and I am working ahead on my orders to be organized and ready when our events start up, because it is going to be a crazy busy time squeezing several months of weddings in to 1-2 months,” said Sarver. 

Will Van Wyngarden, who typically works on roofs, was able to continue with very little change, but worries what the future may hold as many workers have lost incomes. “I would say that is my biggest fear moving forward, that people will be reticent to spend money due to uncertainty with their jobs and the economy,” he said.

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