Adjusting to new normal: Business owners share pandemic concerns

Many if not all people felt the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt throughout the U.S.


On March 11, 2020; the World Health Organization declared COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

From safety restrictions and finding other methods of serving the community, dozens started the shift in adjusting to a new normal.

The virus impacted schools, businesses, and families. First responders would fill hospitals to treat sick patients and businesses would soon close their doors.

While some facilities stopped operations, others continued to serve the community in more ways than one; like Ray Hamilton.

Hamilton is the owner of Anthony’s Good Food Market in West Point.

He said after seeing folks in need during the pandemic, he realized the importance of helping his community.

“It was a Friday night and it was just packed; elbow to elbow and I couldn’t stop thinking about that all the people just crowded in here and west point especially being an older community it just scared me,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton said it was a learning experience.

“You learned as you go I have a good network of other restaurant tours and we’d all bounce ideas off each other and when we stared opening back up with the to gos and then the limited seating; we’d talk like what worked for you and what didn’t work for you,” said Hamilton.

After weeks of the shutdown, the CDC recommended folks to shut down until COVID cleared the air a little.

So for that time Hamilton kept paying his employees and fortunately he retained them when it was time to open up again.

“We had very low turnover we had all of our staff come back which was huge especially at the beginning cleanliness has always been a big deal here,” said Hamilton.

Anthony’s opened its doors for to go orders only in May 2020 and limited seating in June. Hamilton said that social distanced seating wasn’t an issue because he had the space.

The restaurant also had to narrow it’s menu due to price increases and factories shutting down to get in specific items, but it wasn’t all bad.

“It was an opportunity to kind of reset and provide more of a dining experience, knock down some of the noise and people became more flexible on what times they were coming to eat,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton said he’s thankful for the community for the patience they had during the entirety of the pandemic.

Categories: Local News