Local businesses take hit due to coronavirus outbreak

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Several events in the area have been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Those event cancellations are having a huge impact on those in the food service business.

For general manager of Engroff Catering in Topeka Rosie Newman, the cancellations are coming in almost faster than she can mark them off her list.

“Once there was a confirmed case in Kansas, the phone just kept ringing,” said Newman.

Newman said it has cost her business thousands of dollars, and if the cancellations continue, they’ll have to take some pretty drastic measures.

“We’ve re-evaluated our staff and what we’re going to have to do is just let some staff members take vacation next week,” said Newman. “We might need to look at doing some layoffs. It’s all going to depend how much it bounces back.”

Some places aren’t feeling the effects just yet.

“We really don’t have any problems up util the first week of April,” said Executive Director of the Topeka Performing Arts Center Larry Gawronski.

Gawronski said while only some private events and one public event have been postponed or cancelled, they’re prepared if it continues.

“This is a very serious event and we don’t know where it’s leading,” said Gawronski. “But, we do know if we take care of ourselves and our own situations, work with those acts, we’ll be fine and we’ll get through this.”

Like Gawronski, Newman and her staff are hoping for the best, despite the uncertainty.

“The services we provide will be needed,” said Newman. “We know that there’s good times and there’s bad times through the year. So, we’re hoping it’s just one of those times it’s slower.”

Newman also said that some of the events they have been able to cater recently didn’t have nearly the amount of people originally expected. But, they were able to donate all the extra food to the Topeka Rescue Mission.

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