Coronavirus perception impacts New Braunfels businesses and organizations

Small business owners in New Braunfels are seeking support amidst coronavirus fears. (Courtesy Pexels)
Small business owners in New Braunfels are seeking support amidst coronavirus fears. (Courtesy Pexels)

Small business owners in New Braunfels are seeking support amidst coronavirus fears. (Courtesy Pexels)

The number of confirmed or presumptive positive cases of coronavirus has risen in metros around New Braunfels, but Comal County has yet to see a case of its own.

Despite that, shops, bars and restaurants in downtown New Braunfels are seeing varying consequences of fear of the virus. Owners and managers of several businesses within a short walk of Main Plaza said that the number of customers has noticeably declined.

“It’s really hurting small businesses like us,” said Chad Niland, owner of The Downtowner. “For the past two weeks, our sales have been down.”

Niland is adjusting his restaurant’s hours of operation by cutting weekday lunches, but he won’t be closing the doors altogether. He said residents should understand the risks of virus transmission and be cautious, but not fearful.

“Go get a drink. Go out to eat. Go buy that cute shirt you saw at a local shop,” Niland said. “Right now, we need you.”


While some residents have begun avoiding public interaction, others see less risk with proper precautions.

“I’m not that scared,” said Jenna Forester, a local who enjoyed the patio of Phoenix Saloon Friday evening with a friend. “I just want to be more cautious whenever I’m out, mostly because I’m worried about hurting other people.”

2tarts Bakery co-owner April Ryan hasn’t noticed a decline in foot traffic but is worried about the global supply chains that allow her to keep pastries stocked in the cafe’s display cases.

She also has concerns about the availability of goods she buys locally. Shoppers have swarmed grocery stores and are clearing entire aisles of toilet paper and cleaning supplies. This presents challenges for the 2tarts staff that are going through cleaning supplies faster than ever.

“We're cleaning everything—sanitizing everything really well at the cash register—using gloves and all that fun stuff,” said Ryan.

A nationwide concern is that many hourly employees will be hesitant to take time off, or pay for expensive testing, due to monetary concerns.

Niland said he’d consider stepping in financially on behalf of his staff and Ryan has been in contact with her landlord and insurance provider to see what her options are if she has to close her business due to the coronavirus.

“I'd love to give everyone a two week paid vacation,” Ryan said. “But if I'm not going to get any slack on my rent or my other bills, then that's going to be a really difficult thing to do as a small employer.”

There is hope that relief might come from the federal government. A bill is currently working its way through capitol hill and would provide two weeks paid vacation to employees with virus symptoms.

Meanwhile, church-goers will notice changes in services to avoid potential viral transmissions. A visiting reverend to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Father Ken Dakin, said that communion will be done differently and parishioners have been instructed not to hold hands during ceremonies.

“The recommendation now is to receive communion in the hand rather than in the mouth,” Dakin said. “We're not distributing the blood of Christ in the cup.”
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


MOST RECENT

If awarded, the grant would help pay for improvements at the last tuber's exit from the Comal River. (Community Impact Newspaper)
City of New Braunfels submits application for grant funding to support Comal River improvements

If awarded, the grant would help pay for improvements at the last tuber's exit from the Comal River.

ExxonMobil has held office space at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil to bring Hughes Landing employees back to Spring location; Dave's Hot Chicken to open in Plano and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 27.

The homes will all be rental units and will be managed by Aspen Heights Partners. (Courtesy Aspen Heights Partners)
Cottage-style homes to occupy 18-acre property off Morningside Drive in New Braunfels

The homes will all be rental units and will be managed by Aspen Heights Partners.

Texan Tea is slated to open a drive-thru location in New Braunfels in spring 2022. (Courtesy Texan Tea)
Texan Tea, Urban Mutt and nine more New Braunfels businesses that are now open or coming soon

A variety of new businesses have either opened or are coming soon to New Braunfels.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.

Several Halloween-themed events are scheduled for this week in New Braunfels. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Downtown Spooktacular, Fall Fest and more upcoming events in New Braunfels

Trick-or-treating, live music, costume contests and more are included in this week's festivities.

The optometry office will move to a new building across the street on the corner of Fredericksburg Road and Landa Street. (Eric Weilbacher/Community Impact Newspaper)
Henry Hull Therapeutic to relocate to new, expanded office in New Braunfels

The optometry office will move to a new building across the street on the corner of Fredericksburg Road and Landa Street.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 25.