Small businesses change operations for COVID-19 Christmas season

Small businesses change operations for COVID-19 Christmas season
Knight's Apparel And Gifts has also launched a new website, and their staff plans to continue offering curbside pickup for Christmas shoppers. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - With Black Friday in the bag, and the rest of the holiday shopping season still ahead, the Southwest Public Health District says there are ways you can shop and stay healthy.

“Anything we can do to accommodate people’s concerns is what we are going to do. And that’s what a small merchant does,” said John Williams, family spokesperson for Knight’s Apparel and Gifts of Leesburg.

For shoppers who are comfortable buying in-store, Knight’s has upped their cleaning protocols.

“We do spend a lot of time trying to keep the store clean and free of germs as best we can. We encourage people to wear masks. We don’t typically require them day in, day out, but if the store is crowded, like today, we did require masks,” said Williams.

When shopping in person, Dr. Charles Ruis with the Southwest Public Health District, said some forms of payment are safer than others.

When shopping in person, Dr. Charles Ruis with the Southwest Public Health District says some forms of payment are safer than others.
When shopping in person, Dr. Charles Ruis with the Southwest Public Health District says some forms of payment are safer than others. (Source: WALB)

“If there are ways that you can pay for your merchandise, without paying cash, that might work as well,” said Dr. Ruis.

For those that are uncomfortable shopping in crowds, Knight’s has expanded their operations.

“We also offer shopping by appointment. My number is on the door, and I have done that, and we have done that since March,” said Williams.

Knight’s has also launched a new website, and their staff plans to continue offering curbside pickup for Christmas shoppers.

“Shopping online, or shopping in a manner that allows people to pick up merchandise outside of a store can help to reduce the risk of COVID transfer,” said Dr. Ruis.

And although Knight’s already practices precautions, staff are still open to suggestions to help all customers feel safe this season.

“If you just give us the option, maybe we can do something for you. We want everyone to have a good experience. That’s all we can ask,” said Williams.

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