Local businesses adapt to Maine CDC recommendations

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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While states like Massachusetts and New York are mandating the shutdown of some industries, Governor Mills is only recommending the same here in Maine.

Even though it's not a requirement, many local businesses are taking it upon themselves to proactively close their doors.

Paddy Murphy's in Bangor looks very different this St. Patrick's Day. Less than 24 hours after Paddy's annual celebration was set to kick off came the decision to shut down as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. Geaghan's on Main Street did the same.

"They really came to these decisions on their own in the interest of public health," said Bangor City Councilor Ben Sprague. "It was the right decision, and I cannot imagine how hard those decisions must have been because this is undoubtedly their biggest night of the year. When this is all passed, we'll do St. Patrick's Day 2.0. Eventually everyone will get back in there to support these guys."

Other eateries, like Bagel Central, are transitioning to takeout and curbside pickup. "We have a lot of orders being called in," said Erin Smile. "We made extra loaves of bread so that people can come stock up. We have plenty of bagels, tons of cream cheese. So whatever you need, we'll bring it out!"

Some small businesses owners are getting creative. Summer Allen of Valentine Footwear is using social media to stay connected with customers. "There's a number of ways that you can help my business and any other local business. First of all, I would say Facebook is going to be a really important resource through all of this," said Summer when we reached her through Facebook video messenger. "If you are not on the email list of your favorite businesses, that's something you should add." She also wants to spread a message of kindness, urging people to make the best of social media.

Another easy way to shop local while maintaining social distancing is by purchasing a gift card to use later so that businesses have cash now.

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