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Businesses cut hours, tailor services to stay viable

Local businesses are persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting and working together.

Earlier this month, Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses statewide to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He also encouraged everyone to stay home as much as possible. The restrictions have caused a drop in revenue for local businesses.

Chris Gatlin, owner of Woodchuck’s, 1504 Boulder City Parkway, said he has stayed open to provide propane and generator service.

“People are nervous and want power, so we’re doing what we can do,” he said.

Woodchuck’s is a Stihl dealer, providing sales and service for all of the company’s products, and the business also sells firewood and propane and services landscaping equipment.

“We get a lot of people (needing propane) especially in RVs, so that’s what we’re focusing on,” he added.

Gatlin said he is expecting a drop in propane sales because the National Park Service has shut down parks to visitors, and there will be fewer recreational vehicles needing the fuel.

Because businesses were made to close, Gatlin reduced the shop’s hours to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which allows him to work out in the field on backup generators. He said Woodchuck’s still does repairs as needed.

“Our business, as far as the virus, we haven’t been affected all that greatly because we’re down from the construction (Boulder City Complete Street project),” he said.

Larry Archuleta, owner of Dam Computer Medic, 916 Nevada Way, Suite 3, said his business has dropped, but he still has a lot of contract work to do.

“I’m just setting up people to remote into their offices,” he said.

Archuleta said people come to his office for projects, but he practices social distancing and stays 6 feet away from them. He will go to clients if necessary. For those jobs, he uses hand sanitizer and practices social distancing.

“We have customers but nothing like normal,” said Paul Hagen, co-owner of Auto Specialists, 705 Juniper Way.

Hagen said a lot of the work they are doing now is smog testing and registering vehicles.

“We’re seeing a little uptick of new customers, but they are just coming in for smog,” he said.

The business is also helping people who are traveling through town.

Hagen said there is a couple from Canada who broke down on their way home. They’re staying in their camper at Auto Specialists while their truck is repaired by the staff.

He also said they laid off one staff member, who volunteered to be let go.

“Overall, we’re just tightening our belt and watching our spending and hoping to keep as many employees employed as possible,” he said.

To help the restaurants in town, Hagen said he and his wife, Lee, order takeout from a different place every day.

John Chase, owner of ASI Amerisent Insurance, said it’s mostly business as usual for him and his staff, but he has taken on more of a consultant role with his clients and other businesses.

He said he has been working with them to make sure they know how to access different types of funding and loans. He also said he has gained some new clients because COVID-19 has caused some people to want to insure their possessions.

“We’re still open, working every day. … We’re keeping everyone working and employed,” he said. “It’s business as usual as much as it can be.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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