Local businesses prepare for hiatus during Washington’s stay-at-home order

SPOKANE, Wash. — The clock is ticking for businesses around Washington to make last-minute sales before they have to close. As part of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, all “non-essential” businesses are required to close by on Wednesday night at midnight.

Now, local businesses are trying to work out a plan that meets the needs of its employees and customers.

Understandably, this is a difficult time for these businesses. They’re trying to figure out how to make it all work not only for their employees, but their customers as well. They’re looking into every alternative they can.

On the front door of white elephant in Spokane, there’s a sign that says they will be closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. They’ll stay closed for the next couple weeks.

The store said running a business during this time of uncertainty has been difficult.

“It’s hard, because it’s minute by minute and day by day,” said Katie Mustered, manager of White Elephant in Spokane.

White Elephant said business has been slower the past few weeks.

“We have actually not been quite as busy the last few days,” Mustered said.

While that might sound disappointing, White Elephant said that pleases them because people are staying inside.

“People that have come in are looking for things to keep themselves busy during the time that they need to be at home,” Mustered said.

At the Comic Book Store on Division Street, they’re gearing up for their last hours as well.

“Trying to get as much stuff out the door, for people for two weeks, as possible, said Craig Barnett, owner of Comic Book Store.

And people have been coming in to do just that.

“They knew this was coming for the most part. They were buying lots of comic, graphic novels,” Barnett said.

The store is also looking into no-contact ways of doing business

“We should be able to take emails and Facebook messaging with any products you like, we’ll be able to ring you up, charge your cards, and then hand them to you in the parking lot. You just won’t be allowed inside the stores,” Barnett said.

While stores around the state are making their last sales, White Elephant said they’re going to wait this out and come back strong.

“We are getting ourselves rested and ready for when we are allowed to open the store. We will throw open the doors, and party with everybody else that we get to go outside again,” Mustered said.

Not all businesses are closing down for the stay-at-home order, only businesses that are considered non-essential. To take a look at which are, we have a list HERE.