Spartanburg businesses adapt, give back after being forced to close

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered last week that non-essential businesses, like clothing stores and bookstores, must close after 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

7 News spoke with the owners of some of those businesses in Spartanburg who will be impacted by the closures.

“Whenever they started saying ‘social distancing,’ our business came to a screeching halt to begin with,” Amy Zimmer said.

Amy Zimmer is the owner of the Spartanburg boutique “Pink on Main” and told 7 News, when the Coronavirus pandemic began, she knew it was bad news for her store.

“You almost feel guilty asking somebody to buy dresses or clothing, even though you know that cheers them up,” she said. “It’s called retail therapy.”

Zimmer said she’s had a few people come in for some of that therapy over the past few weeks; but after the governor ordered that non-essential businesses–like her store–must close after 5:00 p.m. Monday, she became a little more worried.

“A normal day during this time of the season is booming because everybody’s buying their Easter dresses and their graduation dresses,” she said. “So, this is our critical, most busiest time of the year, really.”

In fact, the pandemic forced the boutique to create a website just to stay afloat.

“It’s definitely survival mode,” Zimmer said. “How do we survive and how do we stay safe?”

And Zimmer’s business isn’t the only one now relying on online purchases.

“We just want to keep our community together, online, as much as possible,” Anne Waters said.

Anne Waters is the Executive Director of Hub City Writers Project, and she told 7 News the closure will be very challenging for herself and her coworkers who manage the Hub City Bookshop.

“I can unplug from electronica easily. I cannot unplug from my workplace easily,” Waters said. “I’m already planning to come into work tomorrow, but we just have to re-evaluate everything and keep everybody safe.”

Because, while money is important, both Waters and Zimmer agreed that safety is the top priority.

That’s why Zimmer is now making and selling masks for those in the community who need them.

“When all of the waters calm, we will see who in our community–that’s a non-profit–needs the help the most and we will turn that money, as a form of a donation, back into our community,” Zimmer said.

“Just hope that people can weather the storm as it were,” Waters said. “Support us from home, be safe, and read, read, read. Be good to each other and hope this passes sooner rather than later.”

Zimmer and her team at Pink on Main have made more than 500 masks. Click here if you’re interested.

If you’d like to order a book from the Hub City Bookshop, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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