CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In the past two months, customers have seen signs, banners, and floor stickers appear at businesses reminding them to “stay 6 feet apart” or how to “prevent the spread” of COVID-19. 8News has learned some of that signage is made locally.
At a time when unemployment is at historic highs, ‘made local’ also means a very real paycheck for a local worker.
Bruce Bloomquest, owner of Image360 in North Chesterfield, says paying his employees is his top priority right now.
“Not looking for profit looking for just taking anything we can get to keep the people who have worked so hard to get employed and keep them a regular paycheck and not on unemployment,” he said.
On Friday, Bloomquest was getting ready to drop off an order of ‘sneeze guards’ to Henrico County.
“We call them sneeze guards — the acrylic guards you see up in the stores — we’re making them for car dealers, and the county, and lots of different businesses,” said Bloomquest. Bloomquest told 8News sales are down at least 50 percent for the months of March and April.
Those sneeze guards are one of the items keeping Image360 open. The 6-man team is also keeping busy printing and delivering social distancing floor graphics.
But regardless of what they’re making, Bloomquest is trying to find the silver lining.
“I hate it, but it’s good,” he explained.”It’s keeping our people employed.”
As Virginia gets closer to phase one of re-opening, Image360 is hopeful more customers will need local products and signs.
“None of us know what’s gonna happen so we’re taking it literally a day at a time and doing everything we can,” Bloomquest said.
Image360 also told 8News it’s keeping busy making yard signs and banners to help families celebrate the Class of 2020.
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