New orders from governor close more Tri-Town businesses

Mar 23, 2020

When Governor Charlie Baker ordered businesses to close for all but “essential services” and residents to cease all but essential travel on March 23, some Tri-Town businesses found themselves suddenly closed until at least April 7. 

There are currently no reported confirmed cases in the Tri-Town, but Marion Town Administrator Jay McGrail qualified that statement by saying that there are a few people in Marion who are exhibiting symptoms that match the disease, but have not been able to get tested due to stringent requirements. 

The newest novel coronavirus prevention order from Baker comes eight days after he announced that schools would be closed until at least that same date, with a possibility for an extension based on conditions at that time.  

The sweeping measure bans all non-food and beverage retail operations and all personal services. Though the state outlined a long list of businesses tied to 14 critical infrastructure sectors which will be allowed to continue operations — with social distancing measures — things in the Tri-Town still feel very much shuttered. 

Some salons, like Hair Unlimited in Mattapoisett, had already closed, and salons in Rochester, the Secret Garden and The Hair and Body Solution, closed at the request of the Rochester Board of Health. 

However, others, like Mattapoisett Clipper and Glossaire were still open. 

Mattapoisett Clipper is a one-woman operation, so the two-week closure won’t impact multiple employees. But it will make life incredibly stressful for its owner, Jodi Bauer. 

She had stayed open by taking one client at a time and sanitizing everything, including herself, between clients, a process that took 10 minutes. 

Reached on March 23, she said she was calling her clients to cancel appointments for the next two weeks. “I’m hoping not longer than that,” she said.  

She said that her husband’s job can cover mortgage and car insurance, but otherwise the family lives hand to mouth. “What I don’t make, I don’t eat,” she said. 

The two week gap means that she may have to ask for forgiveness on her children’s college loans. Bauer heard that there may be a loan program to help small businesses like hers, but she’s not sure when that will happen. 

Fortunately, she is optimistic about what will happen after the Governor’s measure ends. 

“We’re all going to be right back and doing just fine,” said Bauer. “It will be supersonic busy and life will go back to normal.” 

Some retail stores had also closed preemptively, including Pen and Pendulum, Serendipity, and  Surroundings. Serendipity will ship orders by request while the shop is closed. 

Boatyards are an essential business in Gov. Baker’s announcement. Burr Brothers in Marion said that they will close their buildings to the public, but stay open privately to work on projects.

President Tucker Burr found out that the boatyard was staying open after receiving word from an attorney at the Massachusetts Maritime Trade Association that boatyards count as an essential service. 

He expected the order after he saw California institute a shelter-in-place order on March 19. 

He said that while it won’t be open to the public, all of the boatyard’s work is contracted on an annual basis, so employees still have projects to work on.

To keep employees safe, Burr said cleaning crews come everyday to sanitize all surfaces. 

Burr is confident that his business will be okay because the boatyard is in a good place and that “we’re gonna pull through this and everything’s gonna be okay.”