Online sales soar for small bookstore as in store traffic grinds to a halt because of COVID19

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - In February, the Read Spotted Newt Bookstore closed for three days after food waters rose inside.

While clean up took almost no time, then there was hope they were quickly on their way to thriving.

"That happened quickly the community rallied I got a lot of support during that time and I felt like business went on as usual," said Owner Mandi Sheffel.

But just more than one month later, Sheffel closed her bookstore to in-person business when her son's school cancelled two weeks before Governor Andy Beshear ordered her, and other stores, to do so.

"It's a hard decision for me to even be here today I don't know what the right decision is to make. I want to keep the community healthy and do the right thing for them and my family," said Sheffel.

Now she is left to do business via the internet.

"Money is still coming in it's definitely not what it was but you know there is some money coming in. Enough to cover overhead," said Sheffel.

By shipping out books via the mail, doing some limited curbside delivery and even home delivery, Sheffel has a plan to survive in the meantime.

"Fortunately my product is very popular in down time I have an again the community rallying behind me and people who normally buy one book are buying three or four right now," said the bookstore owner.

Sheffel and other small businesses around in the interim plan to help pick each other up as Americans find ways to make do while COVID19 changes our lives daily.