Local businesses feel backlash of COVID-19
Pictured here is The Crust Pizzeria and Restaurant's outdoor seating arrangement for Spring and Summer seating. Picture Credit: Jerry Coppola
The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted many people all over the country. Among them have been local businesses and organizations that rely on the community to flourish.
During this pandemic, COVID-19 has wiped out and seriously damaged local and small “mom and pop” businesses all over the country. Some places have been forced to close indefinitely due to the quarantine shut down back in April 2020, but one tenacious business owner in Allentown has persevered through these arduous circumstances.
“Our biggest challenge was dealing with the constantly changing ‘recommendations’ that Governor Wolf implemented,” Jerry Coppola, owner of The Crust Pizzeria and Restaurant, said about the biggest obstacles the restaurant has faced since March. “We spent $9,000 at the end of February to have our dining room adjusted to the flow of customers, to be told we can’t have customers dine in only two weeks later. I’m not sure we will ever regain our dine in crowd and to me, that has been the largest impact.”
Coppola also notes that unfortunately, some full-service restaurants and bars have lost their clientele to businesses like The Crust because they did not have the flexibility that these businesses had due to the state restrictions. He also discussed how the contactless deliveries that were implemented were effective for being able to service his community, and he even delivers to Cedar Crest’s campus.
Many non-profit organizations have suffered from the backlash that COVID-19 has presented to the world as well. In terms of donations and the restrictions the mandates have put on the community, these operations have also felt the recoil of pandemic.
“I’d say the biggest challenge was making sure the dogs we had [during the lock down] still received the vetting they needed,” Jennifer Sukel, assistant director of The Misfits Dog Rescue, said when asked about the biggest challenges the rescue faced during the pandemic. “Some vets wouldn’t see animals unless it was an emergency.”
Sukel explained how this set them back because they could not allow for people to adopt these animals without a clean bill of health. She also explained how donations have plummeted tremendously. The other rescues and places they would receive their donations from were coming up dry, leaving them limited on food options for their fosters. Additionally, she noted how the rescues have been donating what little food they do have to people in need as to ensure that they could keep their animals instead of giving them up. More recently, the rescue is doing better and is local enough to deliver adopted animals right to your front door.