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VIRUS UPDATE: Self isolation threatens Rochester economy

Fiddlehead employee cleans bar

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) - Fears of coronavirus continue in the Med City as people try to avoid crowds and are staying home in general. However, that could hurt the local economy with small businesses taking a hit.

"The coronavirus is going to be felt economically because people are not going and doing the things they normally would do," said Brian Martin, Ameriprise Financial Services advisor.

"What's even more impactful than the spread of the disease is potentially the impact to not only the global economy but our economy here in Rochester," said Fiddlehead Coffee Co. owner Patrick Phelan.

Local establishments are expecting slower business than usual this weekend.

"Just the general public, as we get more nervous, we will tend to be more conservative in our spending choices and things we're willing to do," said Martin.

Those at Fiddlehead are doing their part to keep their service up to snuff.

"Normal protocol but we are stepping it up more trying to get out make sure tables are wiped down, things in the bathroom, and even the door handles," said Fiddlehouse roaster Peter Foley.

"Spending a little bit more money on sanitizer and solution but other than that, business as usual," said Phelan.

Not just fewer customers, Fiddlehead also is dealing with global economic problems.

"We're still waiting on kitchen equipment at our second location in the Miracle Mile Shopping Center," Phelan said. "It's been delayed because raw materials have been delayed."

Even if you stay home from shopping and public gatherings, Martin advises you to keep your long-term financial goals.

"Stay the course. You had an investment strategy a month ago that you thought was the right one," Martin said. "Unless something has changed in your life, that probably still is the right answer."

Of course, Phelen hopes people continue to go to coffeehouses as usual.

"It's important that we lean on each other when we're a little afraid," said the Fiddlehead owner. "Come in and experience some community."

But some customers will remain.

"I serve a whole lot of people in scrubs," Phelan said. "I think coffee might just help us get through it."

Local gyms have seen thinner crowds than usual. However, they assure members that they have increased sanitation of equipment.

Alex Tejada

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