Businesses in Velva navigate the COVID-19 era

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VELVA, N.D. - Businesses in rural areas in North Dakota are finding ways to stay open during shut downs due COVID-19.

Small businesses are being impacted as limitations like closed dining rooms and panic buying limit how they operate.

In rural areas such as Velva, businesses are finding new ways to adapt to stay open.

“We've got a lot of coolers shut down, we've got things condensed, turn the heat down in the building,” said FinishLine Burgers & Brew LLC owner Clint Hudkins.

FinishLine is one of three restaurants in Velva, and one of five liquor options in town.

Hudkins says leaders have amended the bars Class C license to allow for off sale of alcohol.

“And it's a godsend that they opened that up for us you know, because like us, we're sitting on a lot of money in alcohol that only has a couple weeks shelf life,” said Hudkins.

Overall, the main concern for business owners is the longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we're good for a couple of months but, you know, a couple of months of this I don't know what'll happen. But the thing that I want to say is, it's not just us, it's everybody. Everybody has that fear,” said Hudkins.

Rural grocery stores are also seeing some of the effects of coronavirus concerns.

Velva Fresh Foods owner Brenda McCasson says putting limits on purchases helps assure everyone in the community can get what they need.

“We did see a little bit of panic shopping, panic buying, so we did have to start limiting what they were buying,” said McCasson.

Velva fresh foods is the only grocery store in town and the also serve people in the surrounding area.

The store put buying limits on certain staples like eggs, milk and cleaning supplies.

McCasson says she's been able to keep the store pretty well stocked, but advises people not to panic and buy more than they need.

“We are going to supply you with the things that you need. You just need to give us a little bit of time to replenish the stock,” said McCasson.

Keeping things going, one customer at a time.

Both businesses have added curbside pickup and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.