"Essential" businesses keep doors open with precautions

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 11:38 PM CDT
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While some are forced to close their doors other “essential” businesses are keeping them open with precautions.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Jason Elliot, Conant Auto Technician said.

Elliot has spent the last 24 years turning wrenches. He said getting his hands dirty is a part of the job at Conant Automotive.

“You’re always concerned because you're getting in people’s cars, touching the steering wheels, touching the door handles,” Elliot said.

He said today that concern was amplified.

Elliot and the rest of the crew are wearing gloves, wiping down what they touch, and washing their hands around the clock.

“Make sure that we’re taking every precaution because we are an essential business and if we’re all sick, we’re not very essential,” Elliot said.

He said staying healthy to keep his job is even more essential.

“I got news Friday night that my wife got laid off and right away I said ‘what if I get laid off too?’ and the first thing Joe said was ‘don’t worry.’”

“They’re going to be here. They’re going to get paid. There’s no unemployment. We aren’t even going to go that route,” Joe Conant, Conant Automotive Owner said.

He said making sure his team leaves with a paycheck is main priority.

“It’s a family business. My guys are family. It’s family,” Conant said. “We take care of each other.”

Conant said business has been steady amid Coronavirus concerns. This time of uncertainty should be a wake-up call for everyone.

“The most important thing is your family. It’s the only thing you can truly count on. That’s going to pull us through this,” he said. “The extracurricular activities are fluff.”

Conant and Elliot said they’re hopeful that brighter days are coming.

“You can’t go into a war saying ‘we’re going to lose, there’s a chance we’re going to lose’ no we’re going to win this,” Conant said.