PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At 5 p.m. Monday, all nonessential businesses in Philadelphia officially closed. That includes entertainment venues, restaurants and gyms.
With the closures, life is going to be drastically different for all Philadelphians for at least the next two weeks.
But one local business owner is getting creative in how he’s trying to minimize disruptions for his customers.
“It’s a scary time. It’s a scary time but I recognize this is bigger than just my business,” CrossFit 2 St. owner George Caroulis said.
Mayor Jim Kenney issued a mandatory order to shutdown nonessential businesses at 5 p.m. Monday, the city’s latest attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We are announcing new restrictions on business activity in the city of Philadelphia,” Kenney said during a press conference.
Only essential businesses like gas stations, banks and grocery stores can remain open.
The rest must close until March 27 at the earliest.
“These changes will disrupt life in Philadelphia and we do not make these changes lightly,” Kenney said.
“Having never gone through this, I don’t know what is going to happen,” Caroulis said.
But he says he’s trying to help out his members stay as healthy as possible during the citywide shutdown.
“I also let all the members come in today to pick up a piece of equipment so they can bring it home with them,” he said. “I’m going to incorporate that equipment into the workout each day and try to continue to grow stronger together.”
This is just one way the small business is trying to provide some normalcy in a time that is anything but.
“We’re all about health, we’re all about conditioning. We’re all about making people’s lives better and if it means shutting down for ten days and we come back even stronger as a nation, or a city or a small town or neighborhood in South Philadelphia, that’s what I want,” Caroulis said.
Caroulis says he’s also very concerned about the economic impact the forced closure will have on his business.
City officials say they’re working on releasing details on how they plan to help out small businesses because of the closure.