With restrictions expected to remain in place until at least May 20, communities are coming up with creative ways to help local shops.
At West Main Pizza in Plainville, it's a new kind of normal. Their bar and tables are empty, but their phones are buzzing. For now it's all about takeout and delivery.
"We try anyway to stay open so we can serve the people," said Peter Kaleodis with West Main Pizza.
For 50 years they’ve churned out pizza in Plainville. Due to the coronavirus, Kaleodis says they've seen about a 40% drop in sales. He and manager Jennifer Callegari say the community has really stepped up to support them and that no one at the restaurant will lose their job.
"I know I've given up some of my hours, and other people have done the same thing to give to other people so everybody can make it through this as best as possible," said Callegari.
"You know Plainville has always been supportive to each other. It's a great business community. They need our help right now," said Antonella Calabrese, a Plainville Chamber of Commerce board member.
The Plainville Chamber of Commerce says some restaurants are seeing a tenth of the business they were before. To help locally-owned restaurants, they posted an "Eat Local, Win Local" program sponsored by them and the Economic Development Agency. Participants need to visit two different Plainville eateries starting April 10 and ending May 1. Participants must spend at least $15 at each place. Then you need to take a picture of the receipt and email it to the Plainville Chamber at email@example.com with your name, email, address, and phone number. On May 4, a drawing will be held and winners will get a $25 gift card to a local restaurant.
Officials with the city and the chamber donated the gift cards.
"Our local businesses always support us," said Calabrese. "These are people who are very supportive within the community, so it's important for us to step up now and do the same."
Over the years, West Main Pizza has supported schools, the food pantry, nonprofits, and sponsored a little league team. The Coronavirus hasn't stopped them from giving back.
"On Wednesdays from 4 to 6, we're calling it 'Feed the Needy.' Anyone who is homeless or doesn't have a meal and doesn't have means, we are providing them with a pizza or warm meal to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible here," said Callegari.
A community supporting each other to weather the storm.
"People are really, really supporting us, and we're trying to support them and be here," said Callegari.
"I want to help as much as I can," said Kaleodis.
The Chamber of Commerce is also looking to do a "Shop Local, Win Local" program for local shops and retailers when they're allowed to reopen.
If you would like to donate a gift card for the program, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org