Local businesses balancing public health and economic health since reopening

Genes Sport Shop.jpg
Gene's Sport Shop, in Perham, is among the local business encouraging social distancing to help keep customer's health safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. (RosaLin Alcoser / Focus)

Nonessential business have been reopened since May 18, under recommended state and CDC guidelines for reopening.

The reopening of businesses deemed "nonessential" is Step 2 in keeping economic health during COVID-19, Perham’s Economic Development Director Nick Murdock said to the Focus in a phone interview.

In order to have economic health, there has to be public health, according to Murdock. He said, that businesses can be open, but that does not mean that all of their past customers are coming to them at this time. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, consumers want to know that the local businesses that they are patronizing are doing what they can to help keep their health safe.

Several Perham businesses are trying to balance health and economics.

Gene’s Sport Shop has installed protective shield guards and is providing hand sanitizer at the checkouts, Josh Nordick, a sales manager at Gene’s Sport Shop, said in a phone call with the Focus. The shop has signs posted reminding customers to social distance and asking them to limit their time inside of the shop, according to Nordick.


Main Street Express is keeping up with what they have been doing prior to the partial reopening, owner Mike Nelson said. Indoor dining is still not available, but takeout orders are prepared at the counter, Nelson said. He said that social distancing is being encouraged and the business is continuing to keep things clean, provided hand sanitizer and keeping masks available to employees who wish to wear one.

Nadine’s Ladies Fashions, too, has been working to be very welcoming as people are starved for something close to normality while trying to keep costumers’ health safe, owner Denise Schornack said. Hand sanitizer is available, social distancing is being practiced and countertops and dressing rooms are being kept clean, she said.

It is hard to keep a mask on all day, Schornack said. However, the store is following the lead of the customers and putting on their masks at customers’ request.

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