Clark Street in Forest City is not as busy as it would normally be. Traffic is lighter and more and more stores are closed. Forest Theater must adhere to Governor Reynolds mandate to close. Clothing and antique shops have had significantly less traffic. Even restaurants are experiencing lesser foot traffic than normal. This issue is not limited to just Forest City. Lake Mills, Garner, and even Britt have less and less foot traffic going into stores. The Coronavirus has effected everyone even though there have been no reported cases in northern Iowa.
Some businesses can manage the downturn. Scoopy Doos in Forest City is one of these stores. Julie Keely who owns the ice cream and sandwich shop hints that this is a terrifying time for small business.
Even area convenience stores have seen a downturn in foot traffic despite gas prices hitting new lows for the year. Many people are not going to work because the job site has told them to stay home or the company has been closed because of the Governor’s orders.
Scoopy Doo’s stays open to try and serve workers in businesses in Forest City and those who are sent home. Keely has even helped home bound Forest City students with free bagged lunches so they had something to eat for lunch. Yet, even on days when temperatures have been in the mid to upper 50’s giving the area a hint of meteorological things to come, traffic is not what it used to be.
Virus cases continue to rise with cases now reported in Olmstead County in Minnesota and Black Hawk County in Iowa. Each day becomes a trial of survival for area businesses in local cities.
For now, Keely and her fellow business owners hope for the end to this crisis.
Unfortunately, it seems that COVID-19 has more than one way to effect the population.