‘It was a madhouse, it was crazy’: Many essential businesses see surge in customers

’It was a madhouse, it was crazy’: Many essential businesses see surge in customers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The list of businesses deemed essential and allowed to stay open grew smaller on April 3.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s issued an executive order that required non-essential businesses including furniture stores, clothing stores, jewelry stores, sporting goods stores, etc. to be closed by 5 p.m. on April 6.

Businesses deemed essential, like home improvement stores, still have their doors open, and people in the community are saying that they seem busier than ever.

“I was out at one of those places over the weekend and it was a madhouse, it was crazy,” co-owner of Capital Supply Rick Mckissick said.

Mckissick said he’s seen an increase in the number of customers coming to his store this week, but where he’s really seen the boom is the larger home improvement stores.

“I think people are sitting around the house and getting bored or finding those projects that they’ve been putting off and saying well I’m home so let me go get some supplies,” Mckissick said.

Hardware stores, home improvement stores, gas stations, pharmacists, grocery stores, and firearm retailers are all considered essential businesses.

“You’ve got to have plumbing, you’ve got to have electrical, those are just things you’ve got to have,” Mckissick said.

Mckissick said they will stay open as long as it’s safe, but they have been taking steps to make their shop safer.

“We are keeping it at 5 at a time in the building and keep the six-foot distance between each person,” Mckissick said.

While other essential businesses like the Amoco Gas Station said they were seeing a decline in business before lowering their gas prices Monday to below a dollar a gallon.

“Business definitely got hurt, we were down about 50 percent before this, we just kind of want to keep it going, keep everyone employed, and give back to the community as much as we can,” Amoco Gas Station owner Neil Patel said.

You can see a full list of essential and non-essential business below:

Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order to close all non essential business amidst coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina
Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order to close all non essential business amidst coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina (Source: Emily Wakeman)

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