New Jersey small businesses get creative to stay afloat during virus lockdown

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Small businesses around the Garden State are having to get creative to maintain business while New Jersey deals with the coronavirus outbreak.

Most businesses where the public gathers will be forced to close for the time being, including movie theaters, health clubs and bars. It is all in an effort to limit the amount of exposure the public has to COVID-19.

Little City Books in Hoboken will remain open for business, but customers are not allowed inside. The owners say that they made this decision after large crowds came to the shop over the weekend.

“There were so many people I here and it became a gathering place,” says co-owner Donna Garban. “We were touched, but we were also alarmed. We didn’t want to be a place where people congregated.”

RELATED: Non-essential travel ‘discouraged,' all schools closed amid coronavirus outbreak 

Little City Books is now taking online and phone orders, offering free local delivery and reduced out-of-town shipping for $2. They also set up a “to-go” table at the front door.

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“People can come to the door and ask for a book and we’ll bring it to them,” Garban says.

MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced that public gatherings of 50 or more people were prohibited. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested gatherings of no more than 10 people.

Intrepid Gym owner Adam Kant says that he wants his members to stay healthy during the crisis, so he is lending out gym equipment.

“Anyone who is a member can take it home and keep it for the time being,” he says.

Intrepid is also offering free online classes and virtual personal training. Kant and Garban say that this is all in an effort to keep their customers and hope they come back after the outbreak ends.

“That’s our whole goal, is to try to get people to support us and support local and pushing we can be stronger together,” Kant says.

The head of the Hoboken Business Alliance says that the hope is for the government to take steps to forgive things like state sales tax. He also says that customers can do their part by purchasing gift cards now as a promise to come back and spend more later.

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