COVID-19 impacts local businesses

Taryn Robinson, Staff Writer

As I jogged through town yesterday, March 16, I noticed one of Manhattan’s most lively places was unusually quiet. However this wasn’t a surprise under the circumstances we currently are facing. 

COVID-19, caused by the Coronavirus, has affected many lives worldwide. From cancelled schools to closed businesses, everyone is experiencing an epidemic like never seen in our lifetimes. Many students are thrilled about an “extended” spring break, but most don’t see the big picture: that local businesses in Manhattan are taking a major blow as social distancing practice is in effect. 

As most people are staying home, sitting on their sofas, trying to keep busy, some are becoming worried about their job and business going under during this time of isolation. Without customers supporting the community, it will soon go under, not causing only the loss of numerous jobs, but the business as a whole.

An example of businesses facing nothing short of a crisis are the businesses in Aggieville, one of the most populated areas in the Manhattan community. 

Aggieville is right next to the Kansas State University campus, so it is a hotspot for college students during lunch breaks and after school. It is a great place to chill and have fun with friends while enjoying tasty foods and drinks. The only problem now is all classes have been cancelled, and more importantly, social gatherings are restricted.

While this is a huge problem for Aggieville, it wasn’t the only problem of the season that they were faced with. Fake Patty’s Day, the day college students celebrate early St. Patrick’s Day on with their friends, is usually scheduled a week before the real celebration of the Irish Saint, but due to scheduling of this year’s Spring Break it was moved to the week after. As the planners heard early rumors about the invading virus, they thought it was a safe move, to postpone the celebration. No problem. Except now, it is a problem, a huge problem, because not only is it postponed, but completely cancelled due to coronavirus. 

Fake Patty’s Day was a huge deal to not only students, but to all businesses in Aggieville. Aggieville as a whole gets about a third of their annual income earned on this green day, the rest for businesses as individuals to uphold. Not only was this day taken away, but all of the customers were too.

I’m sure you’re thinking well, drive throughs are safe. Yes, there is a Starbucks in Aggieville, and they’re still open, so I’m sure you could try and support Aggieville through them. But Aggieville has very little drive throughs, as it is a stop-in sort of place.