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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Cottonwood Heights City asks residents to Shop Safe, Shop Local

Jul 13, 2020 12:01PM ● By Josh Wood

The staff at Cottonwood Heights’ Alpha Coffee sport custom masks as they fill takeout orders. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

People who missed their favorite restaurants, stylists, contractors, and other local businesses during COVID-19 lockdown have been encouraged to safely support those companies as restrictions ease. The city of Cottonwood Heights launched a page on its website called Shop Safe, Shop Local to promote doing business in the community. The initiative has stressed the importance of local shopping to helping the community’s economy recover and to keep local enterprises in business.

“We’ve been in contact with businesses as things were shutting down and as they’ve been reopening,” said Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson. “The results have been varied. Some have seen a quick uptick, and others have been slow. It’s really depended on the type of business.”

The suddenness of the COVID-19 shutdown led to drastic consequences for local businesses. While some could adapt their operations like restaurants taking phone orders to compensate for closing doors to dining in, others like salons had to shut down completely.

Carl Churchill, owner of the coffee shop Alpha Coffee located near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, used his unique background to keep moving forward. “In the military, you say adjust, adapt, overcome, and that’s what we were doing,” Churchill said. “We were adjusting to the situation, we were adapting our operations, and we’re going to keep going. We’re not giving up.”

To avoid laying off workers, Churchill had his staff constantly scrubbing the place from top to bottom in preparation for reopening. Meanwhile, Alpha Coffee revamped its website to accommodate online ordering and curbside pickup.

Some businesses had a harder time adjusting to the shutdown than others. “Restaurants without a drive-thru or the ability to do takeout have recovered more slowly than those that were able to do those things,” Johnson said. In its advice for local businesses as they have reopened, the city has echoed the counsel of the state and county governments.

Now the city is focusing on promoting local businesses and how residents can safely support them. “If they have a need for takeout, a gym, or a haircut, there’s probably a local business that can provide that,” Johnson said. “We encourage people to seek out local businesses to help them get going again.”

The Shop Safe, Shop Local page offers a business spotlight link where local businesses can offer updates on the services they provide. Cancun Café on Fort Union, stated in its spotlight listing, “We are open for business for dine-in (with social distancing practices), curbside, takeout, and delivery through GrubHub.”

Fitness Together stated, “We offer 1 on 1 and small group training inside and outside the studio and also Zoom training for both 1 on 1 and small groups.” More Shop Safe, Shop Local information can be found at Residents can peruse dozens of local company offerings to find the services they need and to support local Cottonwood Heights businesses.

Local businesses have also helped support each other in Cottonwood Heights. “We get a lot of the stuff we sell here from other small local businesses,” Churchill said. “When you come here, not only are you supporting us, you’re also supporting five other local small businesses.”