Oakland County small businesses adapt to protect customers, stay afloat during coronavirus outbreak

Small business owners talk about adapting to new normal

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Small businesses in Oakland County are having to adapt to protect their customers and stay afloat during the coronavirus outbreak.

The sign on the door of Comics & More in Madison Heights reads, "Carryout only during quarantine.”

Chris Brown doesn’t usually offer curbside pickup, but these are not usual times. He voluntarily closed the doors to his comic book shop, but is still very much open for business.

“My plan is to do carryout, curbside service only,” Brown said.

It’s his plan to stay afloat during this crisis, and he said the response has been positive.

“It’s been busy,” he said. “I’m getting a lot of phone calls, taking orders, putting it in bags with a sticky note with their name on it. When they pull up, hand it right to them through the door.”

“Being a small business owner -- we had to figure something out,” Katie Johnston said.

Johnston owns Sundance Shoes in Birmingham and West Bloomfield. You can’t physically browse her store right now, but you can go through it virtually with her Instagram videos.

Johnston is pulling out all the stops to keep up her business.

She’s offering 20% off all merchandise, and for every $100 you spend in gift cards, you get $20 off. You can even try things on at home for a small deposit. She’s offering something similar to a Fab,Fit,Fun box, except she picks out merchandise from her store.

“We’ll drop it off and pick it up,” she said. “You have a week to decide. If someone wants a box out of state, I’ll ship it to them.”

Johnston said being creative is key in this time of uncertainty.

“I think it will help us mentally and physically get through what’s happening right now,” she said.

Supporting small business is vital.

“It means a great deal to me,” Brown said. “It’s important to see people wanting to support me. We need to do what we can to get through it.”

To contact Comics & More, call 248-588-4850

To contact Sundance Shoes, call 248-385-5960

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