One Year Later: How Shoals businesses adapted to the pandemic


THE SHOALS, Ala. – With each passing month, the world seems to be slowly returning to what many would call normal, but that’s not to say COVID-19 hasn’t permanently changed the way we do things.

Cheesy Bob Grilled Cheese in Florence added a walk-up window to continue serving customers when dining rooms were ordered to close in 2020. Now a year later, owner Bobby Lindholm said it’s a permanent fixture.

“We also adopted some delivery services, third-party delivery services, and also some curbside pickup,” Lindholm said. “It really trained us on how we need to adapt to the customers and actually, since then we’ve carried through and continued those services because they’ve proven to be so beneficial to the just overall customer experience.”

Lindholm also owns the Escape Room Florence. It hasn’t opened at all in the past year but he said things are looking up.

“We’re actually in the process right now trying to restart that machine to get it back open and limit the amount of people that are in the rooms—only group families or friends, households,” Lindholm said.

In Muscle Shoals, No Doubt Personal Training and Fitness owner Frankie Guerra adapted by doing virtual sessions via Facebook Live.

“The virtual training worked out great,” Guerra said. “Our clients were very, very willing to modify to keep them on their goals and keep that accountability there and helped us keep our small business afloat, so we were grateful for that.”

Guerra said many of the clients were also able to purchase equipment from the studio so they could still receive the same quality of training even if it was over a virtual one-on-one session.

No Doubt is now operating like before with the exception of staff wearing face coverings. Guerra said now, he believes small businesses are better prepared on what policies to put in place should coronavirus cases increase again.

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