Creswell, Public Safety & Health, Springfield

Business owners cope, adjust, look ahead

Today marks the 13th day of combating the ice storm’s repurcussions. Over the last two weeks, Lane County communities have struggled, and local businesses were not any different. Some found ways to manage through the destruction, though.

Main Street Sweets owner Carrie Boehm hasn’t been able to quantify the total losses her business has taken over the last two weeks yet, as it was closed until Jan. 20, but they seem significant when considering the lost groceries and lost customers. A grand concern for her was her employees’ well-being.

“It’s not just worrying about whether your team members are safe; it’s also wondering how they are because they depend on a paycheck, too,” Boehm said. “I wish we could just magically give people money, but we don’t have any coming in ourselves, so it was crappy.”

She said the Springfield community has been very patient and understanding about Main Street Sweets’ scarce food options, saying new customers came just to see what was being offered.

“It definitely lifted my spirits a little bit,” Boehm said.

Banner Bank on Main Street in Springfield was among local businesses impacted.

Blue Valley Bistro co-owner Seth Clark said he lost $1,500 worth of groceries by Jan. 15 due to power outages. 

He wound up donating his personal generator to the shop and setting up camp there with his family.

“We had a blow-up mattress and my wife and daughter and I slept in our shop just to try and make sure we didn’t lose that batch of groceries,” he said.

Clark commended Bi-Mart and the 76 Station for keeping “the town alive through this whole thing. Without those two guys, this town would have been in a world of hurt.”

When Farmlands opened during the storm, owner Jessica Landstra offered customers the option of paying with cash or receiving an IOU. Assistant manager Sarah Dickens said about 20 people took an IOU option.

“We had people thanking us for being able to do that and promising to be back as soon as their power was turned on,” she said. “A lot of emotions were evident throughout the whole time … when we made hot food and hot coffee the day the power came back on Friday, people were very thankful.”

Reporters Pierre Weil and Noel Nash contributed to this story.



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