BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Last year, the COVID-19 shut down left businesses in a place they'd never been before. But now, it's different. With the Delta variant on the rise in Western New York, business owners in the Elmwood Village are less concerned about having to adapt to COVID restrictions again because they have plans.
"We've kept up a lot of the same protocols fortunately, so we really won't be shifting in that regard. We'll go back to stocking more masks," Therese Deutschlander, the owner of Thin Ice, said.
"We're lucky enough that we can do the exact same thing. We can just take the store outside. Go back to more home delivery and curbside service. We would just do the exact same thing," John Higgins, the owner of Elmwood Pet Supplies, said.
"We have virtual shopping where people can schedule an appointment with us. You can shop via Zoom and we take you around the store as if you were here. We do also offer delivery. We are more than happy to offer curbside if people request it," Johanna Dominguez, the owner of Put a Plant On It, said.
But for businesses like salons, it's not that easy. They can't move online or to curbside pick up.
"It would hurt considerably financially. I'm just starting to catch up now, and it's been a while. Another shut down would be a disaster," Sally Lococo, the owner of Kallista, said.
Elmwood business owners said with so many unknowns again, it's crucial to shop local.
"Now more than ever because the pandemic was so hard on everything local. If it comes back I think it should even be more of a priority for people to really make an effort for restaurants, theaters. Everything they can do to support the local community," Higgins said.
After all, they said money spent here stays here.
"If you spend $10 in a local community, a local store, $7 of that stays in your local economy. That's just economics. That just makes sense. For me, it makes sense on every single level," Deutschlander said.
They said those dollars end up supporting local families.
"By shopping at any of these local shops, you're supporting ballet lessons. You're supporting a family. You're supporting so much more than if you're shopping online," Dominguez said.