McAllen shop sticks with alternative logistics even after state allows reopening

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Many businesses in the Río Grande Valley have decided to implement new safety restrictions permanently, after COVID-19 cases have spiked.

Monique Sánchez Chapa, the owner of Shop 112 in McAllen took stricter measures during the pandemic.

"We would plan for a longer closure, not just what the government told us what to do," Sánchez Chapa said.

This decision contrasts heavily with many businesses across the United States, wanting to reopen as soon as legally possible. Sánchez Chapa, decided not to reopen even when she was allowed to and decided to follow examples from other countries

"Especially countries that were already dealing with months or weeks before we did," Sánchez Chapa said.

With hospitals on both sides of the border at capacity, one industry expert says some businesses still don't understand how dangerous the pandemic truly is.

"Things slowed down a little bit and it’s a matter of being consistent," said Carlos Margo, associate dean of industry training and economic development at South Texas College.

Sánchez Chapa's businesses has implemented several safety measures, such as converting her sales floor into a fulfillment center for online orders. Her employees are no longer paid by the hour, but are now salaried. Several employees are furloughed and others are working from home.

"[I tell my employees] come in under the mindset that you possibly have [COVID-19] and you are possibly carrying it as an asymptomatic person, and you're trying to protect everybody else," Sánchez Chapa said

Sánchez Chapa adds that when the pandemic ends, she will continue to offer curbside pick-up. The service is something the pandemic helped create a greater online presence and attract more clients.

Employees and business owners can receive free and online COVID-19 related skills training from South Texas College. For more information, click here.


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