Following Safer at Home, some businesses thriving, others trying to survive

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 2:07 PM CDT
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It's been nearly four weeks since the State Supreme Court invalidated Governor Tony Evers' Safer at Home order, allowing all businesses to reopen.

While some businesses are thriving, others are still struggling.

Considered an essential business, De Pere True Value remained open during the pandemic.

Over the past three months, sales have been strong and steady.

"We've been busy throughout. A lot of people had off obviously, or working from home, so a lot of outdoor stuff, top soil, potting soil, buying plants. That went quickly," says manager Allen Hoopingarner.

Across town at Bay Family Restaurant, though, tables spaced six feet apart are almost all empty, and back-to-normal business is a long ways away. They're seeing half as many customers as they're used to.

"I would say we're at about 50 percent. Fifty percent edging up toward 60. Hopefully by the end of summer we can hit 75, I mean, it's hard to set a goal. The restaurant sector is one of the hardest hit, and I think it's going to take a while for people to get out and mingle, and maybe the restaurant is one of the last things they want to do," says Josh Olejniczak, Bay Family Restaurant manager.

Larry Stange knows that feeling well. Despite being open the last three weeks, his Bay Beach Mini Golf is far from being on par for a normal year, with average weekly revenue still down more than 50 percent.

And for Stange, the calendar adds pressure.

"We're hoping that business will pick up. As a seasonal business everybody knows, all the golf courses out there, anything else, you have a very short time to make your money to pay your bills through winter, and it's going to be a very, very rough year," says Stange.