As we gradually resume our normal lives and activities, it is uncertain whether store owners are likewise getting back on their feet, and opening up shopping again. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and particularly in New York, many small businesses temporarily closed, while others were forced to shudder after years of business. In Bronxville, the women’s clothing store “Weezie D.” closed due to the economic ramifications of the virus. Our one square mile village consists of many “mom-and-pop” entities ranging from Dobbs & Bishop Fine Cheese, or what students call “The Cheese Shop” for short, to the long-standing clothing store, Toney, Toni & the Gang. Each storefront adds to our community and what we call home, and the closure of any business changes the dynamic of our town.
Despite the passing of the CARES Act on 27 March 2020, these small businesses received barely enough to stay on their feet. The vast majority of Americans were suffering from the effects of the virus on the economy and their jobs. In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached a staggering 14.7%, over 11% more than in January 2020. This unprecedented increase in unemployed Americans affected every facet of Americans’ lives. We could no longer reap the benefits of a booming economy and a record-low unemployment rate. Our return to normalcy is not something we can take for granted, however. In order to protect and support those businesses that are still standing, we must maintain a strong economy to keep them afloat. Another economic shutdown would undoubtedly cause thousands of more businesses to shutter. Therefore, we must all do what we can to curb the spread of the coronavirus, even if it means making minor sacrifices and changes to our routines. The recovery of American businesses depends on us to do all that we can to stop the spread, and we depend on those same businesses to render services to us when this is all over.