Local business owners maintain watchful eye as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Mom and pop shops are navigating a new way of operating during the COIVD-19 pandemic.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — As the state – and the rest of the country- continue to navigate the pandemic, local business owners are operating in new ways due to current challenges. 

Game Speed Performance Academy in Solon is using special fans to circulate and purify the air. Coach and Owner, Antonio Coleman, says he’s using the system and other COVID-19 protocols to keep clients safe.

“There’s just so many things. You’re going to have to do a little extra in order to keep people safe,” he says.

Geiger’s Co-Owner, Gordon Geiger, says he’s closely watching the rising cases of coronavirus in the state. He’s praying another shutdown does not happen.  

“The economic impact, already when we were closed for seven weeks, is still lasting and nobody can afford to be shutdown again.”

The 88-year-old family owned company’s downtown location has not re-opened since the pandemic, but the Lakewood and Chagrin Falls locations continue to operate. Despite ongoing challenges, Geiger remains optimistic.

“Our company’s gone through World Wars, and 9-11s and recessions and depressions and we always seem to come out okay,” he says.

The owner of Angie’s Soul Café says while business is down roughly, 40 percent compared to what it was pre-pandemic, the change is manageable.

While they already had a huge carryout business, they’ve stepped things up. Akin Affrica says he watches the news daily. 

 “I don’t live and die by what the governor is saying,” he says.  “People have to eat right, so that’s the reality, if they can’t go out to eat, dine-in, they’ll pick it up carryout, if they can’t do carryout, they will do delivery services.”

On the states’ coronavirus website, under a purple designation, people would be asked to only leave home for supplies and services. Governor Mike DeWiine has said if that happens, he’s not ready to issue any additional orders.

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