ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Business is drying up for local shops in Howard County amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many places have switched to online shopping, hoping to keep their business alive.

Kelli Myers, Owner of a Journey Through Junk, is just one of the many small businesses in Ellicott City closing its doors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“I think its going to say temporarily closed, but still open for your gift giving or shopping needs,” Myers said. “We’ve already been through two floods and many of us are still recovering from that.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Governor Hogan announced Thursday small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now get financial assistance with low interest federal disaster loans.

Howard County officials said they’re also working with a team to set up an online portal to helping business owners get the resources they need.

“Those small businesses represent someone’s hope, someone’s dreams someone’s nest egg for current and future generations,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said. “So to the extent possible, we’re working with them to make sure we get across this challenging time.”

In the mean time, business owners said they’re forced to find new ways to reach customers. Some places are using websites like Facebook and Etsy to post their inventory.

“You just have to keep going on,” Marghi Barnes, Owner of Divine Planet Studio, said. “I have a 12-year-old.

Myers said she’s holding out hope her business will survive.

“I’m going to try not to to stress out to make it worse, but its going to be stressful,” Myers said.

The state announced Friday they are allowing businesses who paid their March sales and use taxes early to request a refund.

They also announced they are extending the deadline for certain business related tax filings to June 1.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner

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