Spokane Journal of Business

Restaurants & Retail

Restaurants & Retail

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Stacey Petersen • Apex Cannabis •1325 N. Division, #104, Spokane, 21502 E. Gilbert Rd., Otis Orchards

 The cannabis industry hasn’t suffered financially like so many businesses and their employees. Nor have we experienced the stress and fatigue that the medical community faces. They deserve everyone’s gratitude and appreciation.

As for what it’s like to operate retail cannabis shops as a pandemic unfolds, the challenges are much more modest, but they are real and unlike any other time.

Our industry was deemed essential, because the medically endorsed shops like ours serve patients as well as recreational consumers. The news of the past month has driven sales in both categories.

The industry was having huge, multiday rushes during the same period that society had to face the reality of the pandemic and the behavior changes required. The biggest challenge was requiring social distancing.

Many customers are understandably nervous and stressed. Many thank us for requiring social distancing by limiting the number of people inside and space them six feet apart. And, honestly, some are not happy and strongly expressed that opinion. The staff learned how to kindly, hospitably communicate that we are responsible to enforce social distancing and it is not optional.

It was easier to require additional preventative measures including hand washing and sanitizing, disinfecting surfaces, no touch policies, requiring gloves and masks, and taking staff temperatures at the beginning of each shift.

It’s a privilege to be operational, and we have tried to do everything possible to protect our staff and customers and to operate the business responsibly.

 

Kara Dixon • Spokane Organizing Solutions Inc. • Home-based business, Spokane

I started my company last year with the goal of helping people streamline their personal belongings at home, work, or both.

What I certainly didn’t see happening is the business morphing into more of a cleaning service in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

By the time stay-at-home measures were implemented, I had about seven customers who I was assisting in helping them to downsize their belongings. Not only did they desire to have me continue to finish the work I had started, they also asked me if I could begin the process of giving their homes and offices deep-cleaning treatment that they didn’t have the time to commit to.

Cleaning their offices was easy as they were absent of anyone working so there wasn’t a threat of human contact in disinfecting those work areas.

As for their homes, it was easy to clean a part of the house with my customer in another area of their home. I’m so grateful they continued to use my services during this time because calls for new business stopped happening altogether.

I feel like momentum is starting to pick up a little. With so many people having been stuck at home, I think there may be a lot of potential customers out there whose homes need a real spring cleaning.

 

Dick & Debi Acker • Marilyn’s On Monroe Antique Emporium • 3111 N. Monroe, Spokane

Marilyn’s On Monroe opened just over three years ago. 

Business had been going well as we saw steady growth in customers and sales each month. However, when the stay-at-home order was implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19, everything pretty much came to a standstill for us. 

The only thing we’ve been able to do at this point is list and sell items online via Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

We had applied for a small $10,000 federal loan through the Small Business Administration, and also a state grant being offered for small businesses. So far, we haven’t heard anything from anyone. 

It is like déjà vu, as it was almost exactly two years ago we were forced to shut down for six months when the North Monroe Corridor project was about to start.

We made it through that work stoppage but exhausted most of our reserves. We certainly weren’t prepared for this.

Kevin Blocker
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