Business owners reflect on two years after COVID shutdown | News
CLEAR WATER (WQOW) – In early March 2020, the state’s first COVID-19 restrictions were issued in Dane County. Days later, Governor Evers issued a safer-at-home order shutting down non-essential businesses.
News 18 visited some local favorites to find out how businesses in the Chippewa Valley have emerged stronger from the pandemic two years after the shutdown.
Jillian Keizer was a 32-year-old mother of two at the time, teaching 26 first graders at Flynn Elementary School in Eau Claire.
Keizer quit her day job, the one she said she loved, to stay home with her children. Keiser started making pasta out of passion during pandemic stress.
“In those days when I wasn’t in class doing the things I used to do, I was learning something completely new and focusing on something that made my heart happy and my stomach happy. of my happy kids,” Keizer said.
Now Jillian owns Jill and Lilly’s Homemade Pasta, named after her grandmother, and sells packages locally on social media.
When safer-at-home ordering began, new movies stopped airing after Hollywood stars went out of work.
Micon cinemas began rerunning old movies when they were allowed to reopen with smaller crowds. Co-owner Connie Olson said her family is doing well thanks to the support of the Chippewa Valley.
“You go to a restaurant and you don’t want to order off the menu and have yesterday’s turkey sandwich,” Olson said. “And here we were serving movies that were there before and they were older classics, but there’s such great support here in the Chippewa Valley for our theaters.”
And down the road, another beloved area business, Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders, moved during the pandemic. Half of the husband-and-wife duo owner, Sam Biwer, said the pandemic meant a fresh start.
“We have an open dining room, we have a new business, we have new employees, and it feels good and no masks and COVID-19 numbers are down,” Biwer said.
Two years later, things have changed. The Chippewa Valley is once again open for business.