Living in a small town comes with its benefits and drawbacks. We are a community that can work together to support each other in times of need and build each other up. This global pandemic is an extreme example. We are lucky to be surrounded by small businesses up and down our streets but now more than ever, they are struggling to stay afloat.
Government mandates, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, have caused many businesses to struggle economically. Luckily many restaurants and coffee shops have been able to follow social distancing suggestions by staying open for takeout, some even extending to curbside pickup in an effort to keep business going.
Some businesses have not been so lucky and have closed their doors for the time being with no knowledge of when business will resume. Employees of small businesses are directly affected and left with no further options in a world of crisis. One local business that had to cease their operations is kids play place Wippersnappers located across from Fred Meyer. The owners were forced to lay off 16 employees effective immediately.
The biggest challenge they are currently facing is financially and no way to know when this will end. It costs them $11,000 a month to stay closed considering rent and utilities.
“There is no way to properly social distance children playing in a closed space and there is no way we can do anything and we don’t know when this will end,” owner Hans Wipper said.
The City of Sandy announced in mid April that they are putting $75,000 towards a business aid program and will be awarding multiple local businesses money to help with closures and revenue loss. Wippersnappers hopes to be one of the recipients of this in order to help with being able to reopen in the future.
“We hope that people will remember us and will still come back and visit once this is all over,” Wipper said.
Businesses that are still open and working hard to stay open need help from our generous community. The best ways to support your favorite places around town can be to buy a meal for takeout or buying a giftcard for use in the future. Even a message to the owners or employees to let them know you are thinking of them can help them through tough times. Please support what and who you can.