File photo

Rossland businesses struggle to survive during COVID-19 crisis

Businesses are reporting sales declines of up to 90% due to pandemic

Rossland businesses are struggling to stay open in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Richard Chobanuk, co-owner of the Legacy Gift Room and Brew Shop in Rossland, said his sales have plunged in recent weeks.

“We’ve had zero customers today, zero customers yesterday and zero customers the day before that,” said Chobanuk. “Over the last month, our sales have dropped by about 50 per cent.”

Despite that, Chobanuk said he’s retained a couple of employees at his store so far.

Chobanuk said he doesn’t think his business will survive if the COVID-19 crisis continues.

“To be honest, if we’re able to last this month that’ll be it,” said Chobanuk. “As it stands, we’re not able to pay the rent. Right now, we’re only existing because we had a good Christmas.”

Despite having a variety of merchandise for sale, Chobanuk said he’s only made three sales in the last three weeks that were non-wine related.

John Snelgrove, owner of two different Alpine Grind stores in Rossland and Trail, said he’s had to lay off many employees.

“Everything at our Rossland location has had to shut down,” said Snelgrove. “That means all my 16 staff that worked there have been laid off.”

Snelgrove said he still has two employees working in Trail.

Despite the temporary closure, Snelgrove said he’s been making and delivering pizzas at the Rossland location to help sustain his business for now.

Even with all the extra work, Snelgrove said his Rossland business has still taken a serious sales hit.

“In the last two weeks of March 2019, we did about about $38,000 to $40,000 worth of business,” said Snelgrove. “In that same timeframe in 2020, we did just $5,100 in business.”

That’s an almost 90 per cent loss in sales year-over-year.

Snelgrove said his pizza sales are the only things allowing him to pay his utilities, rent, insurance and other costs.

Snelgrove said he hasn’t paid himself for over a month to help support the business.

To keep his house up and running, Snelgrove said he’s also applied for an emergency relief benefit with the Canadian government during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Rossland Seniors Centre, city hall and the Rossland Public Library are other facilities that have temporarily shut down due to COVID-19.

READ MORE: First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Invermere


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1

Real-time gauges on the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers suggested Monday water near peak

City of Rossland opens playground structures to public

Residents are reminded to drive cautiously in school zones as children head back to school this week

UPDATED: 189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Mercer Celgar announces 30 days of downtime at Castlegar mill in July

Sawlog stumpage charges on pulpwood and complex stumpage rules some reasons for downtime

Flood warning issued for Boundary as Kettle River expected to rise to 20-year return level

RDKB: This amounts to a high flood risk for low-lying properties in the region

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read