Living Democracy

Chatom businesses respond to pandemic

Running a small business is always difficult. But, with many across the world being affected by COVID-19, including those in Chatom, people have had to address many of the issues that come along with it and try to make their usual lives work.

Amanda Singleton, manager of Bill’s Dollar store at 17100 Jordan St. in Chatom, said, “Everyone seems to be taking it seriously.”

Singleton said one positive from the challenging times is that “people are staying closer to home and shopping locally.” She added, “We’re doing all the deep cleaning that needs to be done on buggies, keypads, doors.”

She said, “Everyone just seems to be trying to help each other out.”

Bill’s Dollar store also allotted the first hour of business each day to senior citizens to give them a safer space to shop. The store employees are working hard to provide essentials people need such as basic household goods and the disinfectants people need to stay safe, Singleton added.

Spencer Ross, owner of Chatom Motor Company, sells a much different kind of product, but his business has been affected in another way during the pandemic. Although demand at the car dealership is steady, the supply lines for cars and trucks have been disrupted due to factory closures in several states, he explained. “It was more of a secondary effect,” Ross said, adding that getting new inventory is more difficult.

No matter what challenges come for businesses in Chatom, he indicated the community is working together to keep each other safe. Ross said, “The change that I’ve seen is, a lot of fist bumps or head nod, not much shaking hands. People are definitely being cautious.”

By Thomas Chapman
Last Updated: June 26, 2020