BY KAYLA ROSS
Ohio has been under lockdown for two months now, forcing businesses all over the state to close normal operations temporarily. Although the Coronavirus has caused the cancellation of many events, Wadsworth’s First Friday continued on May 2. This event allowed the community to come out and support downtown businesses together. The May First Friday aimed to motivate the community, encouraging residents to drive through the square to see the progress of the poster project.
Most downtown businesses participated in the downtown poster project, which displayed posters with uplifting statements. This project aimed to boost the support of local spirits and several businesses by putting out kind messages for all of the community to see: messages like “stay strong” and “we miss you, Wadsworth!” can still be seen all over the town. This continued show of support had an impact on one business in particular. Shelli Reed, co-owner of the Sub Station, participated in the downtown poster project.
“We love the positivity that the poster project brings to the downtown,” said Reed. “[It is a] great idea!” said Reed.
The downtown poster project is just one of the means of support Reed’s business has experienced throughout these past two months. She also explained that although the Sub Station has endured some hardships due to the pandemic, it has been able to stay afloat because of the overwhelming community support.
“[The] community of Wadsworth has really stepped up and supported us during these unfortunate times,” said Reed. “We are very grateful that we live in such a small community that does support small business!”
Although Ohio restaurants were permitted to open up for outdoor dining on May 15 and are permitted to open up for indoor dining on May 21, all restaurants still must abide by thorough sanitation and social distancing guidelines. This comes with some challenges, but businesses are adapting. Reed explained that Sub Station has implemented new guidelines for their business, and will continue to operate under these precautions until further notice.
“We have been implementing extra cleaning regimens and are spacing our tables out further on the inside and the outside. Our front employees who take the food out to customers will be masked of course and we always use gloves so that hasn’t changed.”
Additionally, due to these ongoing new guidelines, the Sub Station has decided to postpone its hosting of monthly trivia nights and recurring music nights. They are hopeful that these events will resume eventually, depending on how the indoor reopening goes.
Between concerns about reopening and new guidelines from the state, the Sub Station was originally unsure if they would be able to stay open. However, due to programs such as the downtown poster project, various spirit events and the never-ending support of the community, the Sub Station has been able to reopen.
The Sub Station is now open from 11 am – 8:30 pm Monday through Saturday for delivery, take-out and outdoor dining. It will reopen for indoor dining on May 21.