As the pandemic disrupts life across the globe, everyone is being forced to adapt and make sacrifices during the unprecedented crisis. None may be more affected than small businesses, with many being forced to temporarily shutter or adapt operations due to a new normal ushered in by state regulations and social distancing measures.
According to a recent study from SmartAsset, the City of Falls Church ranks third overall in best places for small businesses and more than 29 percent of City residents depend on small business income, the fifth highest figure in the state.
The News-Press has asked Falls Church area businesses to share their pandemic challenges and struggles and how the virus has affected operations and the adaptations they’ve had to make in response. Each week, we’ll be sharing their stories.
Today’s featured business: The Neighborhood Barbershop.
The Neighborhood Barbershop opened its doors in December of 2016. It was built in the hopes of providing a social gathering space for shaggy delinquents and loitering dirtwizards. Over the past three years, we’ve had the pleasure of serving thousands of residents, public employees and travelers from outside of the city. We are proud and delighted to call you all friends. The city has been so graciously accepting of our radical bohemian beatnik tendencies and welcomed us with open arms. We became fast friends with all of the other businesses in the community with whom we have maintained tight bonds.
Over the past month, under the dreadful coronavirus, we have all had to adapt to a new way of thinking. We have watched the proverbial tumbleweeds tumbling down Broad Street, and have joined our fellow neighbors in the painstaking process of temporarily closing our shop. As a result, 10 staff members, half of which are city residents, are currently unemployed. We, as many of our friends, have waited patiently with bated breath as state and federal agencies try to implement assistance programs.
During the downtime, several of our barbers started a Facebook group to help provide assistance to elderly and ill neighbors. We compiled all of our surplus supplies of cleaners, disinfectants, sterile nitrile gloves, hand sanitizers and n95 masks and donated them to local nursing homes and medical facilities, as many in the community did.
Now, we wait. We wait for our world to become normal again, or the new normal. We wait for friends and families to get the all-clear to emerge from their homes again and breathe a sigh of relief. We wait for hospitals and nursing homes, and restaurants and movie theatres to return to normal. We wait.
— Dustin Foley, The Neighborhood Barbershop
417 W. Broad Street, Falls Church 22046, theneighborhoodbarbershop.com.
Tell us the history of your Falls Church small business, how the virus has affected your operation and the adaptations, struggles and more you’re facing during this unprecedented crisis. Photos, along with the commentaries, are welcome and encouraged. Please send submissions, up to 500 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.