Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 04-22-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 22-28, 2020 THE VALLEY 3 Many owners and managers of area convenience stores are report- ing that business during the coro- navirus pandemic is either steady or up, despite some having reduced hours. At Li'l General on Great Road in North Smithfield, Ray Masse, a cashier and deli clerk, said the store has been slammed with customers coming in to stock up on essentials such as milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper. "It's a big number. We've been get- ting more people that we've never seen before," he said. The store has also seen an uptick in lottery and Powerball sales with the casinos closed, said Masse. At the deli counter, he said customers are buying meat in large quantities to stock up. Though staff is able to restock most items when they run out, Masse said a couple of local suppliers have been affected by the crisis. Allie's Donuts is no longer delivering to the loca- tion since they closed their shop in North Kingstown, and Willow Tree Farm products have also been hard to come by due to disruptions at the facility in Attleboro, Mass. Steve Gurwitz, of Hilltop Farms in Bellingham, Mass., said busi- ness there, particularly with scratch tickets, is way up with the casinos closed. Massachusetts also allows liquor to be sold, he noted, and liquor sales are also through the roof. Bob D'Andrea, of Big D's Variety in Smithfield and a 40-year town res- ident, said lottery ticket sales are as good as they were prior to the coro- navirus outbreak. He said the past four weeks have been the best weeks he's had since taking over the busi- ness last year. Items such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper continue to fly off the shelves, he said, forcing him to place limits on the numbers each person could buy. "We're just trying to keep things in here that people need," he said. "It's been very difficult. Now, you have to talk to God to get toilet paper." People still need their vices, he said, including cigarettes and lottery tickets. After 8 p.m., the streets are dead, he said, and the store reduced the time it's open by two hours on either end of the day. Others, such as Raj of M & R Convenience in Pawtucket, say busi- ness hasn't fallen off, with no notice- able difference in sales, despite the relative emptiness of local streets. "Business is steady," he said. Crystal Setaro, of Li'l General on Front Street in Lincoln, said busi- ness is up, but it's not because of an uptick in lottery tickets. Customers have been lined up for deli meats, fresh ground meats, and salads, she said. "I have noticed a definite uptick in sales and customers," she said. The store is limited to five custom- ers at a time, and they must wear masks. Setaro said she's hoping the store may have gained some new custom- ers based on those looking to avoid a larger store. Convenience stores have imple- mented many of the same protective measures as other companies, includ- ing tape on the floor to encour- age six-foot spacing, glass barriers between the cashier and customer, and signs on the door asking custom- ers to wear masks like the staff. Convenience stores see steady or increased business By VALLEY BREEZE STAFF BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM RAY MASSE, of Li'l General in North Smithfield, serves custom- ers behind a mask and protective bar- rier. Convenience stores are report- ing substantial business during the coronavirus pandemic. Governor: Tracing shouldn't leave restaurant owners worried The Breeze is highlighting one question asked of the governor's office on behalf of a reader each week during the ongoing corona- virus pandemic. Here is the first question and the answer to it: Question: Restaurant own- ers are concerned that if contact tracing places a patient in their establishment, then their staff could be placed in quarantine and their ability to do an already limited business destroyed. Should they be worried? Answer: As long as restaurant owners are taking precautions, this should not be a major con- cern. Direct contact is defined as contact within 6 feet for 15 min- utes. Because restaurants are only open for take-out and delivery, employees should not be interfac- ing with customers for that long. Additionally, as long as restaurants are constantly cleaning and sanitiz- ing surfaces and taking additional precautions such as wearing masks, they significantly lower the risk of transmission. Food pantry open Monday and Wednesday CENTRAL FALLS – During the coronavirus pandemic, the food pantry at Progreso Latino, 626 Broad St., will be open Monday and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 401- 365-4010. IN BRIEF Fresh Grade a already tipped & split Party ChiCken wings $ 2.49 lB. Michael ' s Meats ' M M A Family Tradition Since 1972 www.Michaels-Meats.com 2130 Mendon Road, CuMbeRland 401-305-5555 thursday april 23rd - wednesday april 29th CertiFied anGus Boneless toP sirloin steak $ 6.99 lB. Boar's head oven Gold oven roasted turkey breast $ 7.99 lB. MiChael's ChiCken teriyaki stiCks $ 4.49 lB. 2.5 lB Box saugy franks $ 4.99 ea. temporary hours 9am-4pm Monday - saturday look for updates on our facebook page ZuCChini or suMMer squash Fresh pint blueberries 99 ¢ lB. $ 2.99ea. 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Phone 401-334-9555 Fax 401-334-9994 Website valleybreeze.com Making our communities stronger by telling their stories. Commitment to Quality • Dependable Trusted • Accurate • Inspirational In our 25 years of existence, we've been all of this and more. From the beginning, we've believed that a hyper-local news model is what best serves our readers. The Breeze is free to our readers, and will remain free, but our hope is that those readers with the resources to invest in journalism where they live will choose to take a more active role in this local news success story, joining advertisers in helping to bring it to the people each and every week. Please consider supporting The Valley Breeze today – Visit valleybreeze.com and click the support button

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