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Coronavirus affecting business in the CSRA

Picture Courtesy: MGN (Freepik)
Picture Courtesy: MGN (Freepik)(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 5:14 PM EST
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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2020

News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Eight thousand miles separates Wuhan, China from Augusta, Georgia. We may not be feeling the coronavirus in the form of a cough or fever, but the deadly virus is hitting the CSRA in other ways.

Any store that sells items that are "Made In China" might experience delays, or even cancellations in their inventory.

"You would think, you know, that's happening halfway across the world so it wouldn't necessarily affect local business in Augusta, Georgia," Chaney Schumacher said, an employee at The Swank Company in Martinez. "It's difficult because we like to make sure that when we tell our customers that we're going to have something that we have it."

Factories in China are short-staffed, or even shut down altogether. In the world of wedding dresses, Amanda Creech, a stylist at Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique, says brides are concerned their dresses won't make it on time for their weddings.

"Normally you can rush things this time of year, but because of coronavirus, that's not an option right now," Creech said. "Most girls when they shop for their wedding dresses, they shop about 10 months to a year ahead of time. So right now the dress is coming in in 5 months. that's not an issue that we're experiencing.

Creech says as long as brides order their dresses months in advance, they're in the clear.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), says it believes the virus has "poor survivability" on surfaces. So much is still unknown, however, so companies are playing it safe.

"It's hard to know," Schumacher said. "Ok are we running low on this? Do we need to order it now? A month in advance? We just got them in yesterday, should we go ahead and order more today?"

Even with shortages, delays, and cancellations, Schumacher knows waiting is only a small price to pay.

"Just being thankful that these are the small ramifications that we have to deal with, but our prayers and thoughts are with the people that their lives are very much changed because of this," Schumacher said.

Stores we spoke to say they are able to get the majority of the products they want, it just takes a little longer than usual. With the CDC expecting the virus to worsen, it's a waiting game to see how big of a hit local businesses will take.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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