Clinton Township businesses react to pandemic

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published March 20, 2020


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruptions across the country. The local business community has not been spared disruptions, with differing results.

After an initial rush, Hefling’s Amish Farm Market in Clinton Township saw business begin to slow down a bit last week.

“I think we’re starting to see some saturation,” office manager Sue Hefling said. “Today (March 18) is the first day demand has dropped significantly.”

Hefling said she hopes the initial surge in business from when news of the virus began to spread leads to long-term customers.

“Last week our business basically doubled because people are looking for beef, chicken and pork. … We’ve actually had to line people up outside to get into our store,” she said.

Chicken shipments have sold out in a “couple hours” over the past week, as the store’s 20 or so employees are working 12-hour shifts in some instances. Custom products, like stuffed chicken breast, have been scaled back to provide customers with ground round and other general items.

The family-owned market, located at 38953 Harper Ave., has specialized in serving chicken, beef and pork without steroids, antibiotics and growth hormones since 1952.

Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon referred to the situation last week as “it’s not business as usual, but it’s still business.” It’s different for local businesses trying to stay afloat, he acknowledged.

“That’s the worry: How long is it going to be?” Cannon said. “Very few businesses can survive a long time without having an income. … My heart goes out to the employees who are going to be most affected, and the business owners. … They worked long hours, put in a lot of sweat equity. I do not fault the government for (the executive order regarding public places).”

Clinton Township itself announced that it would close the doors to the Civic Center on March 17, and likely reopen on April 6, while continuing to provide essential services to customers via phone, internet, email and regular mail.

“We’re all in this together, and if we have some people doing things wrong it can keep this going longer than it should. … It will end sooner if people follow the protocols put in place by the CDC and the state,” Cannon said.