Crisis hitting Cumberland businesses

Crisis hitting Cumberland businesses

CUMBERLAND – Driving the sad reality of the COVID-19 crisis home, some of the town’s most recognizable businesses have closed their doors over the past week.

Conway Tours and Cumberland House of Pizza were two of the biggest names to call it a day. Others continue doing business in a difficult climate.

“Unfortunately, after 94 years in business, we have had to make the difficult decision to cease all operations and close our doors due to unprecedented health and economic issues related to the new coronavirus,” posted Conway Tours in a message to customers. “We appreciate your patronage over the last decades.”

The message stated that the company is in discussions with attorneys on how to proceed in a manner that will be in the best interest of customers, adding that they will keep customers up to date on next steps.

Customers were left wondering this week whether they’ll receive their money back for trips booked. A representative from the Conway family did not return a call for comment.

Owners at Cumberland House of Pizza said the decision to temporarily close C.H.O.P.s on Monday was an incredibly difficult one, but one made with safety in mind and in consideration of guidelines set by the CDC.

“Stay safe and be kind to one another,” read the announcement from the Lambrou family.

On the plus side, Pop’s Liquors reopened to the public on March 21 while announcing extensive measures to keep customers safe, including cleaning door handles, pin pads and counters every half-hour.

Other businesses were adapting this week and getting creative to attract customers. Adeline’s was giving out rolls of toilet paper with takeout food, and Davenport’s was among those offering curbside pickup.

Restaurant owners had at least one reason to celebrate after Gov. Gina Raimondo issued an executive order allowing beer sales with takeout food orders.

Local grocery stores were among those modifying hours for opening and adding special early time slots for seniors to get in to do their shopping.

The ongoing crisis has presented another opportunity for people to put out unfounded statements about price gouging. Multiple posts on local Facebook pages were deleted after false claims about price gouging on bottles of water at one store.