While you might think businesses would be jumping at the chance to swing open their doors and turn a profit, that’s not the scenario being seen in towns across Wisconsin. Right now, the state is more of a patchwork quilt than a homogeneous unit. From reporting in Green Bay Press Gazette, small business owners like Mike Hastreiter and Kayla Viste, co-owners of Kavarna Cafe and Coffee in Green Bay, are left to make the decisions that could dictate the health and well-being of their employees and customers alike.
Hastreiter and Viste have already had to lay off employees and dip into their savings to keep Kavarna afloat. Since May 6th, they’ve been open for curbside pickup and socially-distanced delivery. Even though they have the green light to get back to business, they’re opting to stick with their current model as long as it’s financially viable.
According to the piece, Hastreiter says, “Originally obviously we were closed for almost two months. To be honest, our hope was that the state would take more affirmative action/the country as a whole in trying to reduce the spreading of corona and trying to, hopefully, stamp it out.”
But Hasteiter believes that America, and Wisconsin, effectively went the opposite route, opting to re-open and feign normalcy as soon as possible. What’s been left is a patchwork quilt, with many areas where mandates and social-distancing norms are pretty much voluntary.
Mike and Kayla’s story shows a common thread that’s happening all across the state. While some were quick to reopen and appease eager customers, many small businesses remain hesitant, prioritizing the welfare and health of their workers and communities.
You can read more on the ongoing moral dilemma for Wisconsin business owners here.