COVID-19 pandemic raises costs for local business, customers

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Local businesses are saying the COVID-19 pandemic is making it even more costly for them to operate, and customers may have to pay a little more.

Things already look different for hairstylists and barbers showing up for work.

“In the 35 years I’ve been actually styling hair, nothing like this has ever happened,” said Adrienne Roddy, owner of Salon LaVogue. “Even 9/11 didn’t even take an effect on us. This is the worst effect it has ever had on us.”

Their business has changed mentally, emotionally and financially. They’re required to bring more to work than just clippers and color, or scissors and shampoo.

 “We’re going to have to buy masks, extra gloves,” Roddy said.

They have to buy masks for clients, as well as disposable capes and jugs of hand sanitizer.

It’s adding an enormous cost to the price of doing business, and many believe customers will have to share the burden.

“So now we have to come up with all these extra expenses on top of the normal expenses we have already, so it’s really affecting us. It really is,” Roddy said.

The new expenses might mean you’ll be seeing a “COVID cover charge” at your favorite bar or restaurant.

“And so there is a cost factor, and a cost that we can absorb partly, but not completely,” said Ernie Mellor with the Memphis Restaurant Association.

Even the new normal at your doctor’s office could be different. One doctor sent out a note, saying, “all appointments will have an additional $10 fee added in order to cover the personal protective equipment necessary to ensure proper care for both patients and the team.”

 A lot consumers say they get it and understand the pain of this pandemic.

“So, you have to do what you’ve gotta do,” said Tracy Knight. “And little pennies add up. Okay! A $2 surcharge and no delivery charge, and I’ve got to pick it up. No problem!”

They all mentioned that when this “burden” goes away, so will the surcharge.

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