LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Several local business owners are seeing substantial changes to their business models and are having to adapt to the rapid changes the New York State government is implementing in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Staying Afloat in the Capital Region is a digital series focusing on how local businesses are surviving amid the global health crisis. This segment features Beer Bones, a taproom and beer shop in Latham, a business that normally thrives with in-person interaction.
Owner and operator Rory Regan said they closed their doors on March 16 after Governor Cuomo mandated all restaurants, bars, and gyms to close their doors. The business transitioned into a beer and liquor take-out and delivery service to keep business moving and to engage with their customers during these difficult times.
Due to the sudden decline in service, Regan said the management team had to furlough their six employees. He said luckily most of the employees had other full-time jobs, but he made sure to communicate with and help out the staff members who depended on Beer Bones as a form of income.
“Nobody by any means is fired, they will still have their jobs once things get back to normal, we just can’t afford to have anyone else on staff right now,” he said.
Regan is part owner of the taproom in Latham. He said during a normal week he spends most of his time at the bar taking care of orders and manning the bar, now he is operating the business solo.
“It keeps me busy, driving from Clifton Park to Colonie back and forth takes up pretty much the whole day so it keeps me from going stir crazy inside my home,” he said.
To keep up with costs, Regan has been filling out paperwork and learning about the small business loans the government is offering during this time.
He said he is taking advantage of the down-time to think of how he can improve the bar for their clients in the future. They were just about to open a patio for the spring and summer months.
He said he is hopeful things get better by June so they can have their annual grand opening party.
“I don’t know how long we are going to be in this situation but our plan is to make keep making deliveries until we can open our doors again,” he said.