Ardmore small businesses see decline in sales from COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Several stores here Main Street in downtown Ardmore have closed temporarily due to COVID-19 while others have stayed open, even though foot traffic has dropped dramatically.

Merron McCormack is the manager and co-owner of Main Street Mercantile, an open concept marketplace where smaller vendors sell things like clothing, household items and specialty food.

She said the trend of social distancing and people staying at home has hurt her sales, knocking them down around 80 percent.

"It has hurt us tremendously, as it has all small business downtown," McCormack said.

McCormack said her neighboring store owners have also seen declines in sales.

"It's tough, but we're all in it together," McCormack said. "So, if we work together, it's going to be much better."

Mita Bates, president of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce , said about two thirds of its membership is made of small businesses with 10 employees or less.

"Somehow the uncertainty that's surrounding this particular COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation like we've never seen before," Bates said.

The chamber said it encourages shoppers to support local businesses at their stores online or on social media.

Businesses have also adopted new policies, implementing home delivery and pickup.

Starting this week, the chamber is also hosting a three week promotion where shoppers can turn in receipts from member businesses for a chance to win cash prizes, up to $2,500.

Participating merchants and restaurants will have a drop box for shoppers to drop their receipt/ticket in after making a purchase. The shopper must include a name and phone number where they can be reached on the receipt. Each week (3/27, 4/3, 4/10), the chamber will draw a $500 winner. At the conclusion of the promotion, on April 15, the chamber will draw one grand prize winner for $2500, a second prize winner for $1,000 and a $500 third place prize.

QR codes from online sales with eligible businesses can be sent to the chamber as well for an entry.

"We're not big chains," McCormack said. "We won't survive. We're the ones that help support our community. In times like this, we would appreciate it if you would support us."

Main Street Mercantile's Facebook page can be found here .