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Coronavirus not impacting downtown Bozeman businesses so far

Posted at 10:40 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 12:40:47-04

BOZEMAN — News of the coronavirus is currently impacting the country. But as of now, it hasn’t quite made its way to Bozeman.

“I think Bozeman and Montana still has a small town feel and it feels safe, which gives people confidence that they can still travel here, have fun, spend money and not feel like they have to be constantly worried,” said Sari Feenstra, manager at The Montana Scene.

And because of that, some downtown business owners say the increased worry has not affected business.

“We haven’t noticed it impacting us at all. We have had actually an increase in traffic and sales over the last week,” Feenstra explained.

“In this time of year, we generally see higher influx of customers just because it’s getting warmer out and people are downtown more, so it’s been a lot busier. But we still don’t have that much worry,” said Rikki Hoerning, manager at Wild Joe's Coffee Spot.

““I haven’t really seen a sharp decline in traffic downtown, whatsoever. Still a lot of travel it seems," explained Allison Larew, a sales associate with Voormi.

But those same businesses are still making sure they’re taking precautions.

“I’m constantly wiping down, Lysol-ing everything: the doors, the cash register, concerned about taking money and cash from people,” Feenstra said.

“Sanitize all of our surfaces like 4 times a day, you know watch hand to hand contact, just like touching our face, things like that,” explained Larew.

More and more cases are being confirmed around the U.S., and these residents are sure Montana citizens can handle whatever happens in the future.

“I really feel like to maintain confidence in Bozeman, our community, and in Montana that we need to stay open and show people that we can’t just hide from this,” Feenstra explained.

“Don’t freak out. Stop cleaning out shelves of all this stuff, and just take care of yourself. Stay clean. Wash your hands a bunch. I know it’s being beat to death in the news and everyone's saying hey wash your hands, don’t touch your face, but it really goes a long way. We don’t have to buy all the purell that exists on the planet," Larew said.