New website hopes to streamline small businesses efforts to stay open

New website hopes to streamline small businesses efforts to stay open
Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 2:05 PM CDT
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The rapid spread of the coronavirus through the state is forcing businesses to close or get creative in order to conduct business, but getting the word out whose open and how to get in touch hasn’t been easy.

“Reinventing ourselves as a delivery-only option hasn’t been easy let alone getting a loudspeaker and getting the message out,” said Adam Hadjis, owner of Gianna’s Italian Beef in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Hadjis is still serving up his staple Italian beef, but he’s delivering them to people’s front doors. That’s a service he and his employees are new to.

“We wanted to make an experience for people while they are quarantined,” he said. “We give people the ingredients and they just heat it up at home.

But telling people about the new delivery service hasn’t been easy for Hadjis or many restaurant owners.

“A lot of people haven’t taken the time to update google or Facebook because this is something we aren’t used to dealing with,” he said.

While Hadjis and many other restaurants struggle to adapt in these unprecedented times, Monica Vernon, the Executive Director of the Czech Village New Bohemia, is hoping to streamline people's efforts with a new website “Loveyourlocaliowa. The website launches Monday and will allow businesses to show people what they are doing to stay open while also giving customers a chance to learn how to get in touch with them all in one place.

“There's a lot of financial help out for businesses, but when it comes in you never know,” she said. “I used to run a small business and I know that if you can just get a little bit and if you can just keep selling if you can just keep things going at a low level at least when this is all over they can come roaring back.”

While Hadjis and many other businesses wait to learn what the new normal is going to be, he will continue to serve his Italian beef just in a different way.

“We’re still cooking the same way, we are still using the same beef, we just aren’t cooking the sandwich in front of you,” he said.