Joe Ferreiro is Principal of St. Mary's Catholic School in Morris, director of Plays in Morris and owner of You Pet'Cha pet store on Atlantic Avenue. (Photo: Julia Hoffman)

Small business owners in the area have had to adjust in many ways to the new stay-at-home guidelines. The You Pet’Cha pet store on Atlantic Avenue in Morris, which is considered an essential business, has limited its public hours to one hour a day and added sanitizing stations in the store. Co-owner Joe Ferreiro told the KMRS Community Connection that he is applying for loans from the Small Business Administration to keep operations going.

“Obviously, we’re not going to be profitable, but to just be able to keep our doors open,” said Ferreiro. “Because I think we’re doing a service for the community to have some of these products that you really can’t get in Morris. So, our goal is to keep our doors open and get those loans and try and just keep everything as ‘business as usual’ with all the modifications we have.”

He said people are shopping in different ways during this pandemic, spending less time wandering aisles that would normally lead to extra sales.

“We’ve seen our revenue in the month of March alone cut in half, and I’m assuming it’s going to get even lower in the month of April as people want to leave the house less and less,” Ferreiro added. “You would see people who run in for a couple boxes of crickets or a bag of cat food and they would grab a toy or they would buy a new hide for their snake. Now I see people coming in just to grab the thing they need and leaving.”

Ferreiro said his goal is to not be in debt, but feels the loans would be helpful at this time. His business partner has a husband with health concerns, so they are trying to follow all health guidelines.

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