Small businesses in Savannah bracing for COVID-19 impact

COVID-19 is impacting businesses and industries worldwide, especially small businesses.
Sandpiper Supply service counter
Sandpiper Supply service counter(WTOC-TV)
Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 8:04 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - COVID-19 is impacting businesses and industries worldwide, especially small businesses.

Sandpiper Supply is a family-owned business, and has been in Savannah for 43 years.

The company sells plumbing hardware and services parts. They’ve dealt with lots of things since opening in 1977, but nothing like the coronavirus pandemic.

“Its been a very, I guess, difficult adjustment for us. You know, when it’s hurricane season, there are certain things we can prepare for," said Sandpiper Supply President Chat Howard. "We know that when something is on the way, there’s going to be a definitive end date where we can get back to life as normal, and with this its little different. We’re having to stay flexible, we’re having to make adjustments on the fly, we’re having to prepare for the worst-case scenario, while at the same time, trying to continue to function and keep the local economy going.”

Sandpiper Supply has 21 employees, and said they feel that they are family. Like everyone, they’re taking precautions and making changes.

Showroom Director Christy Ellis said she is praying they don’t have to reduce staffing.

“You can look at a position and consider it ‘non-essential’, but how do you look at a person and consider them non-essential? You really can’t.”

Ellis said supporting small businesses during this trying time is crucial.

“Small local businesses don’t have the cushion that a national company or an international company does to be able to absorb the losses that a short or potentially long-term issue like this causes.”

They are using their parking lot for local food trucks to park and serve customers and support other small businesses, but they ask if you’re not feeling well, that you stay home and make arrangements for someone to pick up your order for you.

Sandpiper Supply is located at 4101 Bull Street in Savannah, and you can check their Facebook to see what food truck will be in their lot for day.

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