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Two Local Businesses Evolve During the Pandemic

The pandemic presented many businesses with a blunt and painful decision: adapt or perish.

The pandemic presented many businesses with a blunt and painful decision: adapt or perish. However, some of the changes organizations implemented proved to be beneficial to the business and sometimes the wider community.

The Okemos-based MUNRO Enterprises LLC, which specializes in helping companies work with the federal government, found that doing business as unusual could still produce a positive impact to those in need.

“As the pandemic gained a foothold in the U.S., one of my business partners and I were working on a D.C.-based project,” said CEO Julia Munro. “The government made the decision to put everything on hold, and the drive home to Michigan was eerie with few cars on the road. You could stop for gas and pay at the pump, but you weren’t allowed in the store.

“We prepared for the worst, but the government must endure, and some work resumed on a virtual basis,” she continued. “In a short time, we were very busy and doing what we could to support other businesses by ordering lots of takeout meals. We also implemented a new policy: a commitment to make monthly donations to two Michigan-based food banks. To date, we have helped provide more than 50,000 meals.”

Karina MacIntosh, owner of The Classy Canine Professional Dog Grooming Salon in East Lansing, reopened with updated protocols after a temporary coronavirus shutdown.

“We began checking dogs in and out curbside, and the lack of distractions from people coming in and out helped the dogs stay focused on the grooming,” she said. “Before, they could see the people through the window and would get excited, even if it wasn’t their family. When you work with sharp objects such as scissors and clippers, the less excitement, the better.”

MacIntosh and her staff started seeing fewer missed appointments and began scheduling the dogs’ pickups, reducing the numbers of pups left waiting at the salon all day after their haircuts.

When asked if she will change back any of the revised policies as COVID-19 abates, MacIntosh said, “As of now, we don’t plan to change anything. When fall arrives and the weather changes, we may reopen our lobby.”

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