COVID-19 Harms Tacoma Businesses


photo courtesy of Gabrielle Krieger

Businesses that are considered “non-essential” had to close their shops on March 15 under the order of Gov. Jay Inslee.

Gabrielle Krieger, Arts & Environment Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, local “non-essential” businesses in Tacoma have significantly changed their procedures or temporarily closed their shops entirely.

Conversely, essential businesses have been allowed to stay open. Yet they have still faced considerable challenges. Such businesses are ones categorized as providing necessary services like food and healthcare. 

For instance, Corina Bakery, one of these essential businesses, which sells food and baked goods near Tacoma’s Stadium district, has been able to stay open despite the pandemic. 

However, the virus has still negatively impacted the bakery. Molly Ott, owner of Corina Bakery, has reported a “75% decrease in walk in business and cancellation of all major events including weddings.”

Corina Bakery has also implemented more extensive preventative measures in light of the virus. According to Ott, “we are sanitizing more frequently all surfaces and practicing safe distance procedures.”

Non-essential businesses on the other hand are facing an even more significant impact. 

UrbanXchange for instance, a vintage clothing store located in downtown Tacoma, has had to temporarily close down their physical store. As stated by the owner of the business, Brooke Casanova, UrbanXchange relies on their storefront because it “provides for 90% of our monthly sales.” According to Casanova, as a result of this loss of income, “we have had to lay off our staff temporarily.” However, their online store is still running.

Until cases of COVID-19 decrease and shops are allowed to run as normal, the future for small businesses such as UrbanXchange and Corina Bakery remain uncertain.