May 25, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Culver City Businesses Face Impact of COVID-19 as Reopening Begins

Culver City has allowed many retailers to reopen but some local owners say being back in business is anything but normal.

According to the City of Culver City, all lower-risk retailers not located in an indoor mall or shopping center and mall retailers who are directly accessible from the exterior of the mall are allowed to open.

In addition, manufacturing and logistics businesses that supply to essential and low-risk retail businesses can operate.

Businesses that are open must adhere to Culver City regulations such as avoiding the direct handoff of goods, recommending people stay in their cars when picking up a product and urging stores to alert staff to a customer’s arrival to limit contact.

While businesses are reopening, life is anything but normal.

“We used to go to LA Market and pick out our flowers, now we pick them up at a designated spot and we’re not allowed to get out of the cars,” said Mike Eskridge, owner of the Culver City Flower Shop off of Washington Boulevard.

He says they have adopted a policy where the majority of business is done online.

“We have a table set up in the back and we bring them out to customers and their arrangements are all prepacked and ready to go,” Eskridge said.

The shop reopened just before Mother’s Day and Eskridge says business has been negatively impacted in a variety of ways. Their hours have lessened and the types of events that normally require flowers such as funerals and weddings are severely scaled-down if even held at all.

“[On weddings] I was solidly booked until November and since COVID all but one has been canceled,” Eskridge said.

Others businesses, such as Westside Income Services a tax organization say they have barely been impacted at all.

The company switched its appointments to solely online. They say eventually they’ll reopen their physical location but they want to take their time.

“The owner wants to make sure that no one gets sick,” a store employee told the Westside Today.

Mayor Göran Eriksson also recommended businesses display signs outside the front of their establishment, without blocking pedestrians, to give more information about services and promote social distancing.

Design Custom Upholstery and Furniture on Higuera says they reopened on Monday and while they’re behind on business, they are taking precautions.

“The only people able to come inside are delivery people and a few employees,” the store said.

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