How Businesses Respond to COVID-19

Kelly Stiles, Features Editor

Companies and businesses across the world, as well as here in Arkadelphia, are making changes in order to combat the negative detriments of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. These changes are meant to benefit those affected by the virus, whether they are infected, in quarantine, forced to be in the public, or low on funds due to lack of work.

 

The Walt Disney Company has temporarily closed all parks and cruises for a month and are refunding all who planned on visiting. They are providing all their workers with paid leave, according to their website. Also, the company has released the children’s movie Frozen 2 to its streaming service Disney+ three months earlier than scheduled to liven the spirits of families in quarantine.

 

Universal Studios is releasing four movies to streaming during their theatre runs so that people do not have to expose themselves to the public in order to watch them. The movies The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma will be available to stream on demand for $20 on March 20, according to their website. The children’s movie Trolls World Tour will be streamable on April 10, the same day it hits theatres.

 

Electric company Entergy is suspending disconnects of service to those who are unable to pay their bills, according to their website. This will be in effect for the next 30 days due to the amount of people who are currently in quarantine without paid leave. Some internet providers such as Verizon, Comcast, and T-Mobile will not shut off services for the next 60 days due to nonpayment, according to Forbes.

 

The moving and storage company U-Haul is providing 30 days of free personal storage for college students who are forced to evacuate their dorms due to the disease, according to the company’s website.

 

Many businesses in Arkadelphia are taking part in aiding with the effects of COVID-19. Local fast food chains Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have closed the sit-down portions of the restaurants and are only operating the drive-thru to keep their employees and customers safe, according to restaurant associates. Sonic and Chicken Express are still open with no changes until further notice.

 

Most essential businesses in Arkadelphia such as banks, power and internet companies, veterinary clinics and doctor’s offices remain open under precautions. Local electric cooperative and internet company South Central has closed their lobby but is still providing their drive-thru service, according to IT systems administrator Jamie Farrell.

 

Arkadelphia nonprofits have taken steps to avoid the spread of the disease as well. The Humane Society of Clark County, while remaining functional, has closed off public access and volunteers for the time being, according to president of the board Janie Allen.

 

Lighthouse Ministries, a local resale shop focused on feeding the hungry and providing assistance to those in third-world countries, has closed the resale shop, but is keeping their food pantry open to those in need, according to president of the board Debbie Files. The Pregnancy Resource Center currently remains open without change, according to associate Gayla Parker.

 

“We want to be open to those in need,” Parker said.

 

Most churches in Arkadelphia are not meeting in person. Park Hill Baptist, First Baptist, Second Baptist, First United Methodist, and First Assembly of God are live streaming their services online.

 

“We are all working through this together,” Park Hill Baptist senior pastor Craig Seals said. “We are thankful for the technology [God] has given us to continue to meet.”