SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) – With many businesses shutting, or preparing to, shut their doors due to Gov. Cooper’s executive order, times are tough.
John Noto is one of the owners of The Topsail Island Trading Company in Surf City. He says this time of year is typically when business ramps up with Spring Break, warmer days, and summer months ahead. But now, his focus has changed.
“Our big concern right now is our staff,” said Noto. “Keeping money in their pockets, put food on their tables; mortgage is paid, rent paid. Over the past days we’ve done some research with the new bill that’s been passed and getting up with our banker. We’ve got the ball rolling on trying to get a small business loan to keep everyone paid for the next eight weeks.”
Noto says he knew it was only a matter of time before state and local leaders put stricter rules into play to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“I was prepared for it,” said Noto. “I felt like it was just gonna be a matter of time. I don’t think any governor, mayor of a town or city or state is going to really want to drop the ball with this one. I feel like just watching New York and California do you know what’s going to come in it’s just a matter of when.”
Noto’s shop is located in the heart of Surf City. Despite fears of catching the virus, Noto says he has seen a steady flow of customers walk in the door to support him and his family.
“I think if you put forth the effort and let people know you’re here, we’ve had a lot of support,” said Noto. “We’ve had a lot of people coming in just to come in and buy something whether it’s a little bit of fudge or a Tervis Tumbler or just something to support and let us know, ‘OK you’re one of the stops. We’re hitting everybody.’ This is a great town and the people that are here have been super generous and we appreciate it.”
Noto said though his doors will be closed, he is going to find a way to continue to sell the store’s famous fudge, whether that be by delivery to curbside. He also wants to try to sell merchandise online as well.
“We have a business to run,” said Noto. “We’re not gonna run into the ground just because were closed. We still have merchandise coming in. We did let some vendors for fill orders this past week so we know they’re going to be things shipping so will have new merchandise to price and you get on the floor and I think right now would be a good time to get in here take some really nice photos of our merchandise and get it up on Facebook and if anyone’s interested will do mail order so we can ship”
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