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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
SYDNEY — Area merchants are improvising these days to ensure the Easter Bunny visits every house even though you are encouraged to stay inside yours.
Online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup are among the local initiatives now being employed during unprecedented times in retail shopping and that is seeing consumers encouraged to stay away from instore purchases.
Emerald Isle is currently closed to foot traffic but their phones and Facebook are busy and they are getting their gifts to customers through delivery, trunk service and parking lot pickup.
"There's a lot of elderly people, their families are just not visiting right now and they want them to have something bright and cheery for Easter or a birthday," said Emerald Isle owner Natalie Magliaro. "Occasions don't stop, people still have birthdays, people still want to mark occasions. We are offering the best service we can by abiding by the social distancing rules."
Magliaro said the impact of COVID-19 is something they started prepping for in January when they noticed cruise wear sales were slowing down and people were not travelling. Their website and social media practices began to ready in case things did get worse.
These days, gifts for teen girls are surprisingly popular purchases and, not surprisingly, Easter baskets.
"It's not enough to keep the lights on and pay the rent. It's just to keep our customers and keep our momentum and keep a presence in their life."
Big Busy Bloomer boxes from Family HeirBlooms Flowers and Gifts, filled with plant-related items and different crafts, have been keeping those in social isolation busy for weeks. They'll switch box themes to bunny villages this week in advance of Easter fun.
"It's just a big box to keep you busy," said Katie Hodder, the lead floral designer and co-owner.
"They give families a little break so that people can have fun activities to do together or just by themselves or it's just to have a plant to purify the air and make things a little bit better."
Hodder posts daily tutorials on the business Facebook page to inspire people to make the most of the craft boxes called the 'Diary of an Isolated Flower Fairy.'
Meridas Magical Garden tutorial
Merida's Magical Garden tutorial. From the Destination Disney BoxPosted by Family HeirBlooms - Flowers, Gifts, & Decor on Friday, April 3, 2020
Craft kits can be customized for families. Delivery and curbside pickup is available.
The Not Just Cakes Easter menu was far more popular than even its bake shop owner, Tara Parsons-Donovan, could have imagined. It quickly sold out and she'll be spending the better part of this week ensuring they make their way to area homes.
Special occasion menus and one-day delivery options for things like cupcakes and cookies are among the other ideas she's mulling over.
"I've been brainstorming ideas just so people aren't left out for who knows how long," Parsons-Donovan said.
"As far as walk-ins, that is not going to be an option anymore. It'll basically be order and pick up or order and delivery."
Countless other local businesses are adapting on the fly in the face of COVID-19 and related precautionary measures. Check for delivery and pickup options on Facebook and websites .