McKinney Chamber of Commerce surveys businesses to gauge local impact of coronavirus, offers resources

The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is looking to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak by offering helpful resources. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is looking to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak by offering helpful resources. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The McKinney Chamber of Commerce is looking to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak by offering helpful resources. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Business and restaurant owners across the globe are feeling the effects of the new coronavirus and the restrictions that come along with its spread, which continues to affect day-to-day operations.

Several businesses are shuttering their stores, cutting employees and seeing decreases in customers as officials continue to encourage social distancing. McKinney is no exception.

Results from a survey the McKinney Chamber of Commerce sent out last week showed 81% of businesses expect a drop in revenue, 55% will be cutting back on spending, and 47% are cutting back on staffing for the moment. In addition, 74% of local businesses are making changes to their day-to-day operations in some way.

Restaurants, most notably, have been forced to close their dine-in services, so many have switched to primarily offering to-go and delivery orders.

Nir Sela, who owns multiple restaurants in downtown McKinney, said his businesses were already suffering just days after the first confirmed case of coronavirus was identified in Collin County.

Sela’s restaurant, Layered, a coffee shop and cafe in downtown McKinney, was operating as usual until it was required to shut down dine-in services by March 20 following the state’s requirements.

But Sela, like several other McKinney businesses, adapted to the situation by offering curbside to-go orders and delivery.

“I have 15 people on the payroll, and I can’t just think of myself,” Sela said. “They all have bills; most of them have kids to support.”

Coryanne Ettiene, who owns Ettiene Market in downtown McKinney in addition to three other stores around the metroplex, said she also has 15 employees to worry about.

“I gave all of my staff the option to work or not to work, because I don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way,” Ettiene said. “But the consequence of that is that I cannot be open all of the time.”

Ettiene later made the decision to close her stores temporarily and instead offer delivery and curbside pickup orders out of her McKinney store.

When making the decision to close her store, she said she found herself wondering what the right thing to do was.

“Do we stay open because we need the money in case we get a sale? Or do we close and be socially responsible? ... It’s such a struggle because I don’t know the right thing to do for my community,” she said.

To help businesses such as these, the chamber is encouraging McKinney residents to support local businesses by ordering takeout, buying gift cards or using the simplified services that are still available.

“It is affecting our businesses in a real way in a short term,” chamber President and CEO Lisa Hermes said during a March 23 Facebook live video. “It’s important that we keep them in business so that when we all get through this, because we are all going to get through this at some point, ... we are all in a good place at the end of this."

Hermes said the chamber is striving trying to help McKinney businesses by offering resources and innovative tools, Hermes said.

On the chamber’s website, there is information for businesses such as on small-business disaster loans, tips on working from home and tutorials on using different technologies that might help with coworking from afar.

Hermes said the increased use of technology has already been a major trend seen across area businesses as many of them have transitioned to working remotely.

The chamber is also listing businesses and restaurants on its website that are still open with simplified services, as well as nonprofits in the area.

Hermes said the chamber has adopted the hashtag #McKinneyStrong to encourage residents and business owners during this time of uncertainty.

By Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impact's first McKinney reporter in August 2018.


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