WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Businesses are dark, streets are empty, and outside most storefronts hangs a note or sign reading, “Sorry, we’re closed.”
“It’s very scary being a small business and not knowing what to expect and where this is going from here,” said Cheryl Knott.
The shutdown of all non-essential businesses went into effect last night and flower shops didn’t make the cut. Knott and her mother have owned Maloney’s for 32 years, but the Waterford shop dates back close to a century.
“If someone is going through a devastating time with a funeral right now, flowers are what they’re going to really kind of need,” she said.
Knott says she still has about two weeks worth of flowers on hand but no way to sell off her inventory.
“If you can deliver food, I would hope that we could deliver flowers,” she said.
Bars and restaurants, deemed essential by Governor Cuomo, can still provide take-out and delivery. The same does not apply to non-essential businesses. Even before the shutdown, the shop had been slow with weddings and parties called off.
“We have Easter and Mother’s Day, which are holidays that florists, we depend on.”
Knott doesn’t have any employees, but Felthouson’s Florist and Greenhouse had to make 15 layoffs between their two locations.
“I do object a little bit to the arbitrariness it seems of who is essential and who isn’t, specifically like liquor stores and beer stores,” said Mark Felthousen.
He says the state’s list of essential businesses is somewhat haphazard but agreed his business is not one.
“I think the funeral directors think I’m essential and some of my customers think I’m essential, but we have to get real and make decisions that are for the greater good of the country,” said Felthousen.
In business for 106 years, Felthousen says they’ll survive. Maloney’s is determined to stick it out too.
“That means there’s no financial income coming in, so it’s buckle down and see what we can do,” said Knott.
Surrounded by bright colors and beautiful bouquets, she only wishes she could share with others.
“We’re all going through a real difficult time now and flowers do make people smile no matter what,” said Knott.