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Coronavirus Update: Small Business That Sell Prepared Foods Running Into Difficulties, Resulting In Sudden Closures

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Even though many businesses that sell prepared foods, like supermarkets and grocery stores, are allowed to remain open during the coronavirus outbreak, some of them are starting to have a difficult time with staffing.

That has made it difficult to keep up with orders. As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported Sunday, it is leading to sudden closures.

With stricter social distancing enforced at supermarkets, fewer people get in at a time and long lines form as more and more options for prepared food are disappearing.

With sudden closings of restaurants, grocery stores, and other shops that were deemed essential.


Eugene Flinn, the president of the Hoboken Business Alliance, told Carlin on Sunday that some closings over the last few days can be blamed on combination of staffing problems, with some workers quitting or getting sick, and fewer customers.

"I think it's getting harder and harder for small businesses to operate and they're worried about their financial future," Flinn said.

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Some owners who closed their businesses recently say they underestimated how much time it would take to work out financial arrangements with their banks and with the federal government.

"They are trying to be the CFO, the chief financial officer, at the same time as packing up to-go orders," Flinn said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Deliveries are more crucial as the nation's health experts suggest supermarkets bring people in closer contact than desired.

But getting anything shipped can be problematic, said Hell's Kitchen resident Carolyn Montgomery, who hosts online classes for cooking and cocktails.

"I need the ingredients that I need so I can do my online classes and I can't risk not having them," Montgomery said. "These people are really trying to supply what people need. There's just not enough, and so they get it late or they get half the order that they ordered and weird substitutions."

Montgomery said she's grateful for supermarket cashiers, cooks, and delivery workers who are struggling up a steep mountain trying to get the job done.

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