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Small businesses staying open as long as they can

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Businesses big and small, both across the country and here in Jacksonville, are learning to live with a new normal as state and local mandates have forced some to close their doors.

Yet others still are getting creative to keep their livelihoods afloat.

With major corporations such as Starbucks, your best bet is to check online for what the company is doing nationwide. But with small businesses, things are happening on a case-by-case basis.

For “Talk of the Town” boutique in Riverside, it’s business as usual. Though owner Bryanetta Humphrey is concerned about the virus, she feels like she doesn’t have a choice but to stay open.

“We have to stay open until they say no more,” Humphrey told News4Jax.

It was a different story across town at the St. Johns Town Center, which is usually buzzing with shoppers and people just enjoying the weather outside.

Over the last few days, major retailers like Nordstrom and Lululemon announced they were closing their doors. But since small businesses don’t have that luxury, they’re getting crafty.

“We’re also offering tele-sales, so if you want to talk with us, video chat with us, we’re here for you,” Humphrey said. “We’ll walk around the boutique (and) show you things.”

At Hawthorne Salon in Five Points, employees understand that many people don’t feel comfortable getting their hair done right now. So, they’ve got other options.

“Pre-paying for your future appointments is a really big way to help,” manager Nick Wagner said. “Also, you can purchase gift certificates for yourself and other people.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he plans to turn on the Small Business Administration loan program, which would open up $50 million in bridge loans to help small businesses.

“You can get $50,000 immediately, one-year term, limit of one loan per business, 0% fixed rated rate and no pre-payment penalty,” the governor said.


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