With the announcement by Gov. Tim Walz requiring the closing of bars, restaurants, gyms and other venues to the public from March 17-27 to curb the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19, the owners and managers of businesses were forced to make changes in how they do business.

“For us, the trick is, how long with this continue,” said Amy Saldanha, president of the Hopkins Business and Civic Association and owner of the Kiddywampus toy store.

Saldanha has witnessed and heard from other business owners around town the assuring amount of support they have received from patrons.

“I’m blown away with the community support our businesses are getting,” Saldanha said. “Not only is it having a calming effect on us, but it’s also easing some of the financial burdens with being closed or having to cut hours.”

Many customers are calling and asking how they can help support them during this time, and Saldanha recommends businesses be honest with their customers.

“This is a town that supports its own, for sure,” she said. “We know that if we can weather this storm, the support will be there when we get through this.”

While many local businesses have shifted their business model, the Sun Sailor is highlighting a few to show what they are doing and how customers can still support them during this time.

Stages Theatre Company

Stages Theatre Company temporarily halted theater and education programming to play its part in flattening the curve of COVID-19, but are finding ways to continue to bring activities to children while they are at home.

The Hopkins company is offering Beyond the Stage, free virtual theater activities for ages 18 months to 18 years designed to get bodies, voices and imaginations moving and creating.

“At Stages Theatre Company, we believe that theatre can be created anywhere – even in your own home,” said Brent Teclaw, digital and social media marketing associate for Stages. “Now more than ever it is critical that we imagine, create, share and spread joy to each other.”

Video offerings include:

• Sensory Story-Time (18 Months-Pre-K)

• Sing-and-Dance-A-Longs (K-3)

• Musical Moment (ALL AGES)

• Build-A-Play (Grades 4-6 & Grades 7-12)

• Plus some behind-the-scenes fun

No tickets or tuition required.

For more information or to join in, go to stagestheatre.org/beyondthestage.

Projects in Person

Jill Miller, owner of Projects in Person, a guided do-it-yourself workshop, said the COVID-19 restrictions have “affected business dramatically,” and resulted in having to cancel or postpone private events and parties, which makes up a majority of the business.

“We’re not makers. We’re committed to experience,” said Miller, noting they had to “pivot quickly” as a business.

To stay true to who they are, they are offering projects at home instead of projects in person that include DIY kits with no tools required.

“I’m glad people are staying home, but let’s give them something they can do,” she said.

There are two options currently available are:

• Build Box - $55 - includes two mini-projects and two MN magnets.

• Build Bag - $35 - includes one mini-project and one MN magnet.

They also are offering ready-to-go projects, including custom-made blanket ladders, floating shelves and trays.

Customers choose the size, stain/paint, which is then built by a TEAM PIP member and ready for pick-up.

Orders will be available for pick-up only 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

For more information, go to projectsinperson.com

Good Vibrations Yoga

Good Vibrations Yoga is offering remote classes so people can experience the benefits of yoga inside their home, but still within a group setting.

When owner Andrew Seifert got the news that gyms would have to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, he said it was a “no-brainer” to shift from teaching class in a studio to a virtual setting through the online meeting software Zoom.

Having also worked for a technology company, Seifert was already familiar with the software and wanted to create viable options for people to still experience the benefits of yoga while practicing social distancing.

“Especially during times of stress, people need to find a way to let that stress go and move their bodies,” he said.

Science has shown that yoga engages the parasympathetic nervous system, offering people a way to relax and de-stress, he said.

People can purchase a class pass online and select from a number of classes, and join the class live with Seifert and other students.

For more information, go to goodvibrations-yoga.com/onlineclasses.

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Kristen Miller is the community editor for the Sun Sailor, covering the communities of Plymouth, Hopkins and Minnetonka. Email story ideas to kristen.miller@apgecm.com

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